Health tourism (or medical tourism), which refers to those people who travel abroad in search of medical treatment, has been growing rapidly in recent years. Today, over 50 nations have determined health tourism as a source of growth for their foreign exchange earnings.
Based on a survey that was conducted by US-based consulting company Frost & Sullivan, 14 nations can now be labelled the world’s top health tourism destinations. It includes a number of countries in Asia: Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, and South Korea. Indonesia, however, is not included in this list.
Medical tourism in Southeast Asia has particularly been experiencing strong growth in recent years, with Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia taking leading roles as providers of medical treatment. A demographic transition towards increasingly globalized, ageing and chronically ill populations has been encouraging the need for medical treatment, globally.
Moreover, for the growing group of middle class people in Southeast Asia – who enjoy growing spending power – it has become increasingly easier to travel to another country in case there is a lack of specialized or quality treatment at home. It is also not unimportant to mention that air travel has become relatively cheap in Southeast Asia thanks to the low-cost airlines that are engaged in a fierce battle for market share. Another crucial factor that explains the success in these three Southeast Asian nations – Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand – in terms of health tourism is that they offer world-class, yet cost-effective medical services.
Those who follow Indonesian media may know that many high-profile Indonesians, for example politicians, businessmen, and celebrities, tend to go abroad when they are in need of medical treatment, or, when they have a routine checkup. It is a clear sign that medical treatment is considered better in specific places abroad than in Indonesia.
Read the article in the November 2019 edition of our monthly report. You can purchase this report by sending an email to email@example.com or a WhatsApp message to the following number: +62(0)8788.410.6944