Skip main navigation

£199.99 £139.99 for one year of Unlimited learning. Offer ends on 28 February 2023 at 23:59 (UTC). T&Cs apply

Find out more

Current Situation and Trend

Video: Current Situation and Trend
The trends of medical travel have change in the past decade soon. Prior to 1990s, medical travel movements were mainly from south to north. Meaning from the less developed countries, patients that are better-off will go to the more advanced countries to receive care. However in more recent years, we find that the bulk of medical travel tends to be from north to south, from the more developed economies to emerging economies. That is because the cost of care in many emerging economies are much less than those in their home countries. There is also often long waiting time for publicly funded services in advanced countries.
At the same time, we find that many facilities in emerging economies are of very high standards, and have received international accreditation. We also see the trend of insurance coverage of care received in foreign medical facilities. We also see the proliferation of elective procedures, things like Cosmetic procedures, Dental works, Fertility treatment, are procedures that are very common these days. Many also like to combine treatment with leisure activities afterward. We also see the proliferation and popularization of alternative medicine and wellness activities.
I would now like to explore with you the medical tourism supply chain. Like any supply chain, we need to look at a series of activities leading to final consumption. In the medical tourism supply chain, we can classify them into three major components. The first component been activities related to pre-departure of the medical tourists. Here under this category of activities, we need to provide information in foreign countries about the medical facilities available. We need to arrange sometimes tests for the potential patients before they undertake the journey. We need to make sure that they are suitable to travel, they are suitable to receive the treatment after they travel. There is also some appointment booking systems need to be done.
We could also try to help arrange travel logistics for patients before they travel to the other country. There is of course some payment requirements. The second group of activities would involved those after arrival, and those of course the treatment activities. That involves Reception,Admission, the actual Treatment, the Post-operative Care, as well as the Accommodation after treatment. After discharge as well as may be some travel logistics. The third group of activities would be Post-treatment activities. In some cases that might involve arranging Leisure activities for the patients, arranging return home logistics, arranging Follow-up care in the home country, obtaining Feedback and in some cases revisit to the facility for Follow-up care.
There are many common reasons for medical travel. A very common reason is to access the most advanced technology, to access the best doctors, the star doctors in that country. We also see many people want better quality care in general. Not necessarily the best, but better quality than those they can find in their home country. We also see quicker access to medically necessary procedures, often these are for chronic conditions not acute conditions. There are also cases where drugs or some treatment regimes are not available in the home country. And they have to travel to another country to receive that treatment or drug. Lower cost care for the medically necessary procedures. Lower cost care for the elective procedures are also common reasons.
If you have attractive post-procedure leisure activities, that would again be an added advantage.
What are the top procedures which medical tourists seeks? The top of list would be things like health screenings, cosmetic procedures, including rather routing type of procedure, like Botox injection to some very sophisticated cosmetic surgery,plastic surgery. Dentistry( general dentistry, cosmetic dentistry) Because dentistry is sometimes quite expensive in some countries, and sometimes not covered by public funded services. Cardiovascular procedures These are more complicated procedures, and sometimes quite expensive. Orthopedics procedures joint replacement, hip replacement including sports medicine. Cancer treatment is also quite common. Reproductive type of treatment ,fertility treatment, Weight loss scans, imaging expensive tests, and also seeking second opinions. These are the top procedures that are sought by medical tourists.

In this video, you will learn about the current situation and trend of medical tourism from Professor Peter P. Yuen.

After watching the video, what do you think about the current situation and trend of medical tourism?

This article is from the free online

China’s Role in Global Tourism Development

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Our purpose is to transform access to education.

We offer a diverse selection of courses from leading universities and cultural institutions from around the world. These are delivered one step at a time, and are accessible on mobile, tablet and desktop, so you can fit learning around your life.

We believe learning should be an enjoyable, social experience, so our courses offer the opportunity to discuss what you’re learning with others as you go, helping you make fresh discoveries and form new ideas.
You can unlock new opportunities with unlimited access to hundreds of online short courses for a year by subscribing to our Unlimited package. Build your knowledge with top universities and organisations.

Learn more about how FutureLearn is transforming access to education