Governments Boost Medical Tourism


The medical tourism market is focused on attracting paying international patients, but in fact much of the revenue in the international patient market comes from governments sending their citizens for treatment abroad. So is it time for a different approach?


Much of the focus in medical tourism is on how to attract paying patients to come to a destination for treatments such as cosmetic surgery, dentistry, obesity surgery ,and IVF . In these scenarios, the key drivers are the lack of public or insurance funding for such interventions in the patient’s home country. The patient elects to travel because they are paying for the treatment with their own cash, and there are significant savings to be made in low-cost destinations.


But much of the revenue generated from medical tourism or, using a more appropriate term, in the international patient market comes from governments who are funding treatment abroad for its citizens because:


  • the domestic health system is not equipped to deliver the treatment.
  • the quality of healthcare in the destination’s health system is better (or is perceived to be better).

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