Medical tourism facts and statistics

One of the greatest shortcomings of the medical tourism industry is the lack of hard facts and statistics.

  • The data currently available on medical tourism is notoriously poor, patchy and unreliable.
  • There is no definition of a medical tourist, or an agreed method for counting them.
  • There is no coherent or standardised system for collecting and analysing medical tourism information direct from healthcare providers in different markets.
  • No one really knows the size of the medical tourism market on a national, regional or a global basis. Estimates of market size are based on speculation, exaggeration ... or poor data.

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It is an industry surrounded by hype.... tales of “exponential growth”, a “booming industry” and “the next big thing” abound. 

The reality is rather different. It is a young, nascent industry that is underdeveloped and lacks sophistication. Whilst long established destinations for medical travellers such as the USA, UK and Germany continue to attract international patients and earn significant revenue for their healthcare providers, there is a flurry of new market entrants who are climbing aboard the medical tourism bandwagon. Around 80 plus countries now claim to be medical tourism destinations.

Limited market data

There is only limited data available on medical tourism. Anything that you read on the internet must be treated with scepticism, especially claims or estimates of medical tourism numbers and revenues.

Our sister publication, International Medical Travel Journal (IMTJ),.

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