Medical Tourism Market Hits USD 35.9 Billion by 2032

Trishita Deb
Trishita Deb

Updated · Apr 26, 2024


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The global medical tourism market is expected to see significant growth, projected to increase from USD 11.7 billion in 2022 to USD 35.9 billion by 2032, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.2%. This growth is driven by factors such as advancements in healthcare technology, cost savings, and strong government initiatives promoting medical tourism.

Countries in the Asia Pacific region, like India, Thailand, and Malaysia, are leading destinations for medical tourism. These countries offer high-quality medical treatments at lower costs than in developed nations, attracting international patients. Key treatments sought include cosmetic surgeries, dental procedures, and cardiovascular treatments. Governments in these regions are supporting the market by investing in healthcare infrastructure and promoting their countries as top medical tourism hubs. Additionally, international accreditations assure patients of the high standards of care they can expect.

Technological advancements, including telemedicine and e-health services, have also contributed to the market’s growth by making it easier for international patients to access treatments abroad. These technologies streamline the treatment process, providing more efficient and immediate care options.

However, the medical tourism market faces challenges such as ineffective marketing strategies and difficulties in patient acquisition and follow-up care. Providers often struggle to understand market dynamics and fail to engage effectively with potential patients, impacting trust and reducing lead conversions. Issues like managing patient referrals, follow-up care, and transferring medical records are significant obstacles, affecting the continuity of care when patients return home.

To overcome these challenges, medical tourism providers need to improve their marketing strategies, enhance patient engagement, and streamline processes related to patient referrals and follow-up care. By addressing these areas, providers can better meet the needs of international patients and strengthen their market position. This focus will help maintain the growth momentum of the medical tourism market and ensure a better experience for patients seeking medical treatments abroad.

Key Takeaways

  • Market Overview: The global medical tourism market is experiencing robust growth, exhibiting a CAGR of 12.20%.
  • Definition: Medical tourism encompasses organized international travel for medical treatments not available in one’s home country, often motivated by cost efficiency and superior medical facilities.
  • Segmentation: The market segments into medical, wellness, and alternative treatments. Medical treatments lead, driven by demand for orthopedic, dental, spine, and cardiology procedures.
  • Service Providers: Private entities dominate the market revenue, offering cost-effective, advanced medical services. Public providers are constrained by limited funding.
  • Growth Drivers:
    • Economical surgeries abroad attract patients looking for affordable healthcare options.
    • Technological advancements and telehealth capabilities encourage inbound medical tourism.
  • Market Restraints:
    • The COVID-19 pandemic severely disrupted international travel, impacting the medical tourism sector.
    • Ongoing travel restrictions and healthcare uncertainties continue to pose challenges.
  • Opportunities: The digitalization of health services is enhancing international cooperation and improving surgical and diagnostic procedures, thus fostering market growth.
  • Current Trends:
    • There is a rising preference for cosmetic procedures, which sustains market expansion even during the pandemic.
    • The availability of high-quality care and skilled specialists abroad is drawing more patients internationally.
  • Regional Insights:
    • North America holds a leading 35% of the market revenue, primarily driven by orthopedic and cardiology treatments.
    • Europe is advancing with its growing medical infrastructure, while the Asia-Pacific region shows significant potential, especially in developing nations.
  • Key Players: Prominent market players include Bumrungrad International Hospital, Apollo Hospitals, and Fortis Healthcare, which are actively pursuing growth strategies like mergers, acquisitions, and partnerships.
medical tourism market value
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Medical Tourism Statistics

  • Growth Rate: The medical tourism sector is experiencing a robust annual growth of approximately 15-25%.
  • Top Destinations: Leading destinations for medical tourism include Thailand, Mexico, India, Turkey, Malaysia, Costa Rica, and Singapore.
  • Motivation – Cost Savings: Significant cost savings, ranging from 40-80% on medical procedures, drive patients to seek treatment overseas.
  • Common Procedures: The most popular procedures among medical tourists are cosmetic surgery, dental treatments, orthopedic surgeries, and cardiac procedures.
  • Patient Origin: The primary sources of medical tourists are the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Western Europe.
  • Satisfaction Rate: High satisfaction rates are reported by over 90% of medical tourists regarding their treatment quality.
  • Economic Impact: Annually, the medical tourism industry contributes in excess of $100 billion to the global economy.
  • Cost Savings: The main appeal of medical tourism is the reduced cost of procedures, which typically are 30-80% cheaper than in the patient’s home country.
  • Quality of Care: Approximately 50% of the medical tourists are drawn to destinations offering superior healthcare services.
  • No Insurance Coverage: Around 25% of medical tourists pursue treatment abroad due to lack of insurance coverage for specific procedures.
  • Reduced Wait Times: A significant 20% of medical tourists seek treatment abroad due to long waiting lists in their home countries.
  • Technological Advancements: Around 30% of medical tourists travel to access cutting-edge medical technology and treatments.
  • Emphasis on Privacy: Approximately 15% of medical tourists prioritize privacy and confidentiality offered by healthcare facilities overseas.
  • Seeking Specialized Expertise: Nearly 20% of medical tourists travel because the specific medical expertise they require is unavailable locally.
  • Holistic Treatments: About 10% of medical tourists pursue alternative therapies and holistic treatments available in certain destinations.
  • Medical Tourism as Leisure: Approximately 40% of medical tourists perceive medical travel as an opportunity to combine treatment with leisure and vacation.
  • Influence of Recommendations: Referrals from friends, family, and medical professionals influence the decision of about 25% of medical tourists.
  • Cosmetic Procedures: Cosmetic surgeries constitute roughly 25% of medical tourism, with popular treatments like breast augmentation and liposuction.
  • Dental Treatments: Dental procedures make up approximately 15% of medical tourism, including services such as implants and teeth whitening.
  • Orthopedic Surgeries: Joint replacements and orthopedic procedures represent 10% of medical tourism, offering cost-effective options compared to developed countries.
  • Cardiac Treatments: Bypass surgery and angioplasty attract patients due to quality care at lower costs, constituting 8% of medical tourism.
  • Fertility Treatments: IVF procedures are popular, making up 12% of medical tourism due to availability and affordability.
  • Bariatric Surgery: Weight loss surgeries account for 7% of medical tourism, providing specialized treatments and comprehensive care.
  • Cancer Treatments: Around 8% of medical tourists seek advanced cancer therapies abroad.
  • Ophthalmic Procedures: LASIK and cataract removal surgeries are sought after, comprising 10% of medical tourism, driven by skilled specialists.
  • Neurological Treatments: Spine and brain surgeries attract patients seeking expertise, making up 6% of medical tourism.
  • Gastric Procedures: Gastric bypass and related surgeries constitute 5% of medical tourism, with specialized facilities catering to these needs.

Emerging Trends

  • Shift towards Wellness and Preventive Care: There’s an increasing trend in medical tourism where patients seek not just treatments for existing conditions but also preventive measures to maintain health and prevent future diseases. This is reflected in the growing popularity of wellness programs that include health check-ups and lifestyle improvement plans alongside traditional medical treatments​.
  • Technological Advancements: The integration of technology such as telemedicine, artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, and virtual reality is reshaping medical tourism. These technologies enhance the precision and efficiency of treatments, facilitate remote consultations, and improve the overall patient experience. For example, virtual reality is being used to prepare patients for surgeries, reducing preoperative anxiety​.
  • Personalized and Genomic Medicine: Advances in genetic research are enabling more personalized medical treatments. Patients are increasingly looking for treatments that are specifically tailored to their genetic profiles, which is a trend gaining traction in the medical tourism sector. This approach is particularly influential in areas like cancer treatment, where personalized plans based on genetic information can significantly improve treatment outcomes​.
  • Sustainable Practices: With a rising global awareness of environmental issues, medical tourists are increasingly drawn to destinations that emphasize sustainable and eco-friendly healthcare practices. This includes the use of green technologies and sustainable infrastructure in medical facilities​.

Use Cases

  • Cost-Effective Treatment Options: Many patients travel abroad for surgeries and treatments that are significantly cheaper in other countries without compromising on quality. For instance, treatments like heart bypass surgery can cost substantially less in countries like Singapore compared to the U.S., making it a favorable destination for such procedures​.
  • Access to Advanced Medical Technology: Countries like Japan and Singapore offer access to advanced medical technologies, which are not as readily available or are more expensive in the patient’s home country. This makes them attractive destinations for medical tourists looking for high-standard medical care​.
  • No Wait Times and Immediate Treatment: In some countries, especially where healthcare systems are overwhelmed, patients face long wait times for certain procedures. Medical tourism allows these patients to receive treatments such as elective surgeries much quicker in foreign countries​.
  • Availability of Specialized Treatments: Some countries have specialized in certain medical fields and offer high-quality services that may not be available elsewhere. India, for example, is a leading destination for medical tourism due to its affordability and the presence of internationally accredited facilities. Popular treatments sought by medical tourists in India include bone marrow transplants, cardiac surgery, and orthopedic procedures like hip replacements​.
  • Combination of Healthcare and Leisure: Medical tourism often combines healthcare with leisure activities, providing a holistic experience that includes recovery in pleasant and scenic environments. This blend of health and hospitality is appealing to many who wish to recover in a stress-free environment while enjoying the local culture and amenities​​.

Key Players Analysis

  • Bumrungrad International Hospital, located in Bangkok, Thailand, is a major player in the medical tourism industry, renowned for its comprehensive healthcare services and advanced medical technologies. Established in 1980, this multi-specialty facility serves over 1.1 million patients annually, including more than 520,000 international patients from over 190 countries. The hospital’s global appeal is enhanced by its accreditations, including the prestigious Joint Commission International (JCI), and its reputation for high-quality care at competitive prices, making it a preferred destination for medical tourists seeking specialized and cost-effective treatments​.
  • Apollo Hospitals has significantly contributed to India’s thriving medical tourism sector, offering comprehensive services to international patients. Their International Patient Department aids in planning and preparing travel, ensuring seamless transitions from arrival to treatment. Apollo’s facilities are recognized for clinical excellence and affordability, enhancing its reputation among global patients seeking quality healthcare. This dedication to superior service and medical care underpins Apollo’s pivotal role in the expansion of India’s medical tourism industry​.
  • Fortis Healthcare has established itself as a prominent player in India’s medical tourism sector, recognized for its extensive international patient services and advanced medical facilities. Fortis caters to over 200,000 international patients from more than 175 countries, offering services in 20 specialties. It is the first hospital network in India to monitor and publish clinical outcomes, ensuring high standards of care. The organization’s international acclaim is further bolstered by numerous awards, including significant recognition at the Advantage Healthcare India’s Medical Value Travel Awards 2023, underlining its contribution to India’s position as a leading destination for medical tourism.
  • The Asian Healthcare Institute is a prominent entity within the medical tourism sector, notably recognized for its integration into the dynamic market of medical travel in Asia. The institute is part of a growing network that includes some of the most prestigious healthcare facilities in the region, distinguished by their advanced medical technologies and high-quality patient care. This reputation aligns with the broader trends in Asian medical tourism, where strategic enhancements in healthcare services attract a global clientele looking for cost-effective yet superior medical treatments. Asian nations, particularly through institutions like the Asian Healthcare Institute, are increasingly viewed as favorable destinations due to their blend of affordability, advanced technology, and high standards of medical care​.
  • Bangkok Chain Hospital (BCH) has positioned itself prominently in Thailand’s burgeoning medical tourism sector, focusing on high-quality healthcare that caters to both local and international patients. The BCH network includes multiple facilities like World Medical Hospital and Kasemrad Hospitals, providing a broad spectrum of medical services and specialties. These institutions boast modern infrastructure and are equipped with a significant number of licensed beds and advanced medical technologies. Internationally accredited, BCH hospitals offer competitive medical services to a global clientele, leveraging Thailand’s reputation for cost-effective and high-quality medical care.
  • KPJ Healthcare Berhad is set to make significant strides in the medical tourism sector, expecting to generate RM200 million in revenue in 2023, with projections for a 50% to 75% increase in 2024. This growth is part of their strategy to capitalize on their new Damansara Specialist Hospital 2, targeting a 50% contribution from medical tourism to their revenue by 2025. Their strategic hiring, including the appointment of a former CEO of the Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council, aims to bolster their market position and enhance revenue through targeted marketing and operational improvements​.
  • Livonta Global has established itself as a key facilitator in the medical tourism industry in India, primarily serving patients from various countries seeking affordable and quality medical care. Since its inception in 2017, Livonta Global has partnered with top-tier hospitals across India, offering a wide range of treatments including organ transplants and bariatric surgery. The company emphasizes comprehensive healthcare packages that cover medical visa assistance, travel, and accommodation, ensuring patients receive personalized care throughout their medical journey. This approach positions Livonta Global favorably within the growing medical tourism sector, driven by India’s advanced medical technologies and skilled specialists.
  • Gleneagles Hospitals in Malaysia are renowned contributors to the nation’s booming medical tourism sector, particularly highlighted by their inclusion in Newsweek’s World’s Best Hospitals 2024 rankings. These hospitals are celebrated for their comprehensive healthcare services and substantial cost savings for medical tourists—up to 75% compared to standard rates in countries like Australia and New Zealand. Their strategic focus on high-quality, affordable care has positioned them as a preferred choice for international patients, enhancing Malaysia’s global reputation as a leading destination for medical tourism​.
  • BB Healthcare Solutions is actively participating in the medical tourism sector, specializing as a medical travel agency and facilitator based in the United Kingdom. The company provides a comprehensive range of medical services including general, gynaecological, haematological, and various surgical procedures tailored to the needs of international patients. Their offerings reflect the growing global medical tourism market, which is anticipated to expand significantly, driven by the demand for specialized treatments unavailable locally and at a lower cost abroad​.
  • Berkalp CO. Limited is actively involved in the growing medical tourism sector, recognized alongside leading global healthcare providers. The company contributes to an industry projected to reach USD 41.51 billion by 2033, driven by affordable and high-quality medical treatments in developing regions. Berkalp’s participation leverages technological advances in healthcare and strategic market expansions, capitalizing on increased global demand for cost-effective medical services.


In conclusion, the medical tourism market is poised for substantial growth, fueled by factors such as cost-effective treatments, technological advancements, and the availability of specialized expertise. Despite challenges like the COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing travel restrictions, the sector continues to expand, with a focus on enhancing patient experiences and improving healthcare accessibility.

Key players like Bumrungrad International Hospital, Apollo Hospitals, and Fortis Healthcare are driving innovation and setting standards for quality care, contributing significantly to the market’s advancement. As the industry evolves, a shift towards wellness and preventive care, coupled with sustainable practices and personalized treatments, presents new opportunities for market players to meet the evolving needs of international patients.

Trishita Deb

Trishita Deb

Trishita has more than 7 years of experience in market research and consulting industry. She has worked in various domains including healthcare, consumer goods, and materials. Her expertise lies majorly in healthcare and has worked on more than 400 healthcare reports throughout her career.