North America Medical Tourism Market size exceeded USD 896 million in 2020 and is expected to witness over 8.5% CAGR from 2021 to 2027.
Medical tourism is the process of traveling outside the country of residence for the purpose of getting quality medical care. Medical tourism also referred to the travel of patients from less-developed nations to developed countries to avail the medical treatments that may not be available in their home country. Medical tourists travel across different countries for the improvement and restoration of their health through inexpensive healthcare facilities that are comparatively expensive in their own country. Different benefits of medical tourism such as lower costs, insurance incentives, and vacation in a foreign country among others are accelerating the demand and adoption of medical tourism in healthcare.
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Several government policies to ease medical travel across the region will stimulate the preference for medical tourism. The future of medical tourism comprises the adoption of innovative technologies to make health treatment overseas more inexpensive and accessible on a real-time and secured basis. Hence, the government in the region is focusing on introducing various policies and initiatives to attract international patients that will result in broad economic development.
The American Medical Association introduced a set of guidelines and policies for employers, insurance companies, and others involved in the medical tourism industry. These policies are related to proper follow-up care, patient’s rights, accredited facilities, and the potential risks of surgical procedures with long flights & vacation activities.
Increasing compliance towards international standards for surgical procedures to improve the quality of medical care delivery will drive the medical tourism market growth across the region. The possible economic advantage of medical tourism makes it an appealing opportunity for governments that can contribute to wider economic development. The worldwide rise in the flow of patients, capital funding, and health professionals across international borders has given rise to new patterns of compliances with surgical safety.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regulates advertising and marketing performed in the U.S. for surgical and related procedures offered outside the country. It is important for clients providing services in the U.S. and abroad to follow the FDA regulations and other policies. From a corporate view, players in the market require to be focused on foreign regulatory necessities on establishing laboratories and medical practices. Thus, majority of foreign patients travel to the U.S. to obtain advanced medical care coupled with improved compliance for surgical procedures. As per the Medical Tourism Association survey, around 100% of institutions and professionals in the healthcare sector placed the top priority on clinical experience and professional credentials.
The cardiovascular surgery segment will observe around 8.4% growth rate during the forecast period. The significant expansion of the segment is owing to several advantages such as innovative medicine, modern devices, personalized care, etc. Cardiovascular surgeries mainly include angioplasty, heart valve replacement, insertion of a pacemaker, and other procedures. Currently, technological developments are progressing at a high rate in the North America region, thereby augmenting the demand for cardiovascular procedures across international borders. This is correlated to advancements in the educational structure, the evolution of health care policy, the availability of professional doctors, experienced cardiac centers, and CT surgeons. These advanced procedures comprise advanced cardiothoracic surgery, robotic & video-assisted procedures, and minimally invasive surgeries.
Moreover, the availability of effective anaesthesia methodology and drugs coupled with enhancements in the perioperative care of elderly high-risk patients are uplifting the demand for cardiovascular surgery in North America. To decrease the risk to patients, cardiac surgeons in the region are employing virtual clinics to evaluate patients from home including post-operative follow-ups and new referrals.
U.S. medical tourism market revenue was more than USD 673 million in 2020 attributed to the recent advancements in medical technology along with several government initiatives supporting medical tourism. Government and investors are realizing the huge potential that medical tourism can provide for employment in medical & other sectors, tourism receipts, and to retain skilled health care workers. Many hospitals in the U.S. are actively engaged in various strategies comprising collaborations with overseas physicians and other travel service organizations to attract medical tourists. Numerous inventive health insurance plans have been introduced to support medical tourism in the U.S. For instance, recently the Access Baja has been introduced in California to provide insurance coverage alternatives with low premiums and co-payments for employees working in the U.S. to access healthcare services.
The U.S. has a robust research pipeline for innovative treatment to conventional procedures such as orthopedic surgery, bariatric surgery, fertility treatment, etc. In the country from 2018-2019, four clinical trials were launched to use CRISPR for the treatment of patients with serious medical conditions such as melanoma, lymphoma, sickle cell disease, etc. The interest in inbound medical tourism in the country is continuously rising due to the increasing number of international patient departments in the U.S. hospitals marketing to foreign patients. Many hospitals in Florida that cater to foreign patients are customer-friendly and provide concierge services to attract international patients.
Some of the major industry players include American Medical care, Jackson Health System, North American Specialty Hospital, CubaHeal Medical Tourism, Inc., Elite Skin Rejuvenation, Advanced Surgical Operatory, Canadian Biologics, Inc., Orchard Recovery Center and University Health Network, among others.
These companies are adopting various organic and inorganic strategies such as product launches and partnerships for garnering maximum market share and strengthening their industrial presence. For instance, in 2019, Cleveland Clinic and Etihad Airways announced an agreement on medical tourism. This partnership was intended to deliver a seamless patient journey from the home country and offer a superior medical tourism experience to international patients. The strategic move assisted the hospital in expanding its customer base and strengthening its market position.