A new report by Visa and Oxford Economics revealed that lower costs and better care are sending travellers across the border to get medical attention.
According to the report, the medical tourism industry is currently worth around $400 billion, with 11 million individuals hitting the road to procure the best priced services across the globe. This market is expected to grow 25% annually for the next 10 years amounting to $3 trillion by 2025, the study further said.
The factors driving the uptrend include an aging global population, rising health care costs in the US and a boom in international transportation infrastructure development.
Canada is the favorite pit stop for medical services, followed by the U.K., Israel, Singapore and India. Meanwhile, the US is the largest market for medical tourism, followed by Thailand, Singapore, Germany, South Korea and Spain. China, though, is expected to overtake the US as a major market for such services in the next decade.
However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warned medical tourists to be wary of the risks of cheap offshore services. The risks are: insalubrious facilities or procedures, counterfeit medical supplies, antibiotics resistance, and misunderstandings arising from language barriers.
CDC estimated that as many as 750,000 Americans travel globally to find cost effective medical services.