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GLOBAL: Medical Tourism Facts and Figures 2012

A major new independent report takes a look at what is happening in the world of medical tourism, and gives guidance as to where the future lies.

Much has been written about medical tourism….millions of people flying from country A to country B for cheap medical treatment. Everyone thinks they know the top destinations, reasons for travelling and current direction. These
‘facts’ are repeated every time a journalist discovers medical tourism, or when people are trying to sell their conferences or consultancy services; or politicians seek to justify a plan.

Few of these ‘facts’ are now accurate; medical tourism has settled in certain patterns and is going in new directions. Few of the countries regularly claimed as market leaders are the top ones. Some of the most successful countries are the least noisy, and often not dependent on the myth of huge cost savings.

The reality is more interesting:
•    Most business is regional or even within a country.
•    Many medical tourists do not seek out the cheapest destination.
•    The top three European destinations are also the most expensive ones.
•    The USA sees as many inbound medical tourists as outbound.
•    Much medical tourism is for cosmetic, fertility or dental treatment.

While several hyped countries have not achieved the expected inbound numbers, or are even seeing falling numbers, there are success stories where coherent targeted marketing, organization, and a realisation of who the real customer is sees countries like South Korea and Taiwan make great strides with increased numbers. Many European countries are quietly succeeding too. The UK has been a leading medical tourism destination for many years, but receives little mention.

The 2012 edition of Medical Tourism Facts and Figures has over 400 pages of updated and extra information, including data from countries where no figures were previously available. All figures are analysed for truth or fiction, and gaps in knowledge are highlighted.

For each of the 150 listed countries, the report provides (where available) an overview, basic country facts, numbers in and out, targets, destinations and sources, research reports, promotional bodies, plans and problems.

Not everybody within medical tourism will welcome this analysis, as it destroys a few myths, but to anyone wanting the real picture of this vibrant and expanding industry, or who wants to avoid the mistakes of others, it is a must read.

Author Ian Youngman comments, “In the two years since my last global report on medical tourism, the world and the industry have changed greatly. Countries that have got their act together are doing very well, but some big names that relied on past glories have lost customers to competitors. The industry is fragmenting into specialist areas and customer segments, so it is frustrating to see some countries and experts still peddling the ’one cut-price size fits all “mythology.”

Medical Tourism Facts and Figures 2012 will be available for purchase from 15 March 2012. Contact IMTJ for further details.
Medical tourism news06 March 2012

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