Updated on May 23, 2022 by Axel Hernborg

Axel Hernborg

Medical tourism refers to overseas travel for medical treatment. Many people choose medical tourism because the health treatment they require can be performed in other nations for a lower cost and without the time and discomfort of waiting. Furthermore, some patients travel to certain locations to receive treatments that are not reachable in their own country. Stem cell transplants and gender reassignment surgery are two examples of such procedures. The term medical tourism is a broad term often known as health tourism, medical travel, or surgical tourism. The most common conditions addressed through medical tourism in various countries are

  • Cosmetic surgery
  • Weight loss
  • In vitro fertilization
  • Liver transplantation
  • Kidney replacement
  • Back surgery
  • Cardiac problems
  • Dentistry

Medical travel statistics

  1. The world medical tourism department was estimated (before covid-19) of worth $44.8 billion in 2020.
  2. With travel restrictions easing, this is supposed to grow by $54.4 billion by 2022.
  3. According to recent data, over 50 million medical travelers visit the United States on average each year.
  4. Thailand was the most popular destination for medical tourism in 2019, with total market revenue of 22% and 1.8 million visits.
  5. The average medical expense per person for each visitor is $3800-$6000 per visit.
  6. Americans account for 20% of the medical travel department in Thailand.
  7. When Americans and Canadians visit Cancun, Mexico, the most famous medical approach is weight loss surgery.
  8. Medical tourism is quite popular in India, and the market share is predicted to increase from 18% to 20% by 2022 (after the pandemic period).
  9. Getting a heart bypass in India can save Americans between 91 and 95 percent on the treatment.
  10. Plastic surgery is most common in Brazil and the United States.
  11. According to medical tourism data, other nations can ask for less money for a particular medical procedure as healthcare employees are paid less in other countries.
  12. Other hidden motives include monetary remuneration and the exclusion of the significant price of incompetent insurance.
  13. Every year, approximately 1.4 million Americans travel outside of the country for health treatment.
  14. Reports show that, depending on the operation, Americans can save between 40 and 50 percent.
  15. The average cost of each medical tourist per trip is $3,800-$6,000 (cash).
  16. According to an investigation on health travel in the United States, the most popular destinations for Americans are South America, Central America, and the Caribbean.
  17. The number of inbound whole days and night visits to Mexico for medical reasons fell to 451 thousand in December 2021, the lowest level in three years.
  1. According to the overall findings of scores of health tourism in 2020, this statistic shows the top 20 countries in the globe for medical tourism, health facilities, and service quality (Figure 1).
  2. Canada ranked first out of 46 countries in the worldwide medical tourism rating for 2020-2021, with the highest index score of 76.47.
  3. Singapore ranked 2nd with a 76.43 index score, while the UK is on 5th number with a 71.92 score.

Medical Tourism Statistics Figure 1

Figure 1: Medical Tourism Country Wise Index Score

  1. According to the Shanghai Medical Tourism sector, about 60,000 Chinese people travel abroad each year for medical services such as anti-aging therapy, cancer screening and treatment, childbirth, and chronic disease treatment.
  2. Medical tourism would be considered by 66% of China’s 1.18 million millionaires.
  3. According to a Deloitte report1, China’s annual healthcare spending is expected to rise by 11.8 percent each year from 2014 to 2018, reaching $892 billion.
  4. According to McKinsey & Company, China’s healthcare spending will hit $1 trillion by the end of 2020, up from $350 billion in 2011.
  5. The Chinese medical travel department is expected to reach 264.3 billion yuan by 2021.
  6. According to the Medical Tourism Index (MTA) report, Canada is one of the top desired destinations, attracting approximately 14 million Americans as well as people from other countries to treat surgical operations.
  7. Singapore’s medical facilities were ranked sixth-best in the world by the World Population Review and ranked second in the Medical Tourism Index, with the best healthcare facilities and services.
  8. Singapore’s inexpensive and high-quality healthcare services attracted more than 500,000 international travelers in 2019.
  9. When compared to the United States, Singapore offers lower-cost medical procedures such as heart bypass surgery and joint replacement.
  10. Patients who seek health care in Singapore save between 25% and 40% of the amount they have spent in the United States on the same service.
  11. Heart bypass surgery, for example, costs $140,000 in the United States and $25,000 in Singapore.
  12. In Singapore, a hip replacement procedure that expense around $45,000 in the United States costs around $13,000.
  13. The number of medical visas awarded to international patients in Japan increased from 70 in 2011 to 1,650 in 2018.
  14. As stated by the Japanese Foreign Ministry, medical tourists are drawn to the country’s top-tier cancer treatment institutes and cosmetic surgery skills.
  15. Inbound medical travel to Japan is also fueled by low healthcare costs.
  16. Hip replacement surgeries in the United States cost $30,000, whereas in Japan they cost $4,126, saving up to 70% of the cost.
  17. In 2020, around 5.2 thousand Japanese medical tourists visit South Korean plastic surgery departments.
  18. Around 117 thousand international medical tourists visited South Korea in 2010, the largest amount in ten years.
  19. In terms of both income and patient volume, health tourism is expanding at a pace of 20% per year in Spain (for more Spain tourism statistics, check out our guide here).
  20. In 2015, the sector is anticipated to have brought in 500 million euros.
  21. Every year, the Thai health tourism business earns around 75,000 million euros.
  22. The MTI ranks the United Kingdom fifth among medical tourism destinations worldwide.
  23. A knee permutation surgery in the United States costs more than $30,000, yet it costs less than $20,000 in UK facilities.
  24. The fact that Canada is ranked first in the Medical Tourism Index for 2020.
  25. It welcomes over 14 million Americans every year.
  26. Its proximity to the United States attracts a huge rush of tourists and patients looking to avoid long lines and exorbitant healthcare bills at home.
  27. About 250 thousand people visit Germany each year from 177 different countries for medical treatment.
  28. In German hospitals, approximately 100,000 international patients are admitted.
  29. Between 40 and 45percent of international patients arrive in Germany only for medical treatment.
  30. Germany was placed 12th overall in the world, with strong performances in the categories of health quality care system and terminus environment, but only 36th out of 46 medical tourism destinations.

Influence of Covid-19 on Medical Tourism Trends and Forecasts (2022 – 2027)

  1. Medical tourism has been severely impacted by the drop in foreign travel.
  2. When comparing January 2021 to January 2020, overseas travel declined by 87 percent globally.
  3. The global medical tourism market was worth USD 31,532.43 million in 2021, and it’s predicted to grow to USD 54,201.88 million by 2027, with a CAGR of 11.23 percent between 2022 and 2027 (Figure 2).

Medical Tourism Statistics Figure 2

Figure 2: Tourism Market Snapshot

  1. According to the American Journal of Medicine, 1.4 million Americans sought medical treatment in another country in 2017.
  2. It is projected that 16 million patients travel to another country for medical treatment, spending $45 billion to $72 billion.
  3. When compared to the same period last year, the total scheduled flights per week in the United States fell by up to 65 percent in June.
  4. Inbound travel spending to the United States decreased to 79 percent in January 2021 compared to January 2019, with passenger flight spending only accounting for 10% of total spending in January 2019 (Figure 3).

Medical Tourism Statistics Figure 3

Figure 3: Covid-19 Impact on Medical Tourism in the US

Market Trends

  1. According to internal estimates from Nova IVF Fertility 2020, roughly 49 percent of international patients visiting for fertility therapy in 2020 came from other regions of Asia.
  2. Around 25% of estimated figures, visit from the African continent.
  3. According to the same source, in 2020, the number of African patients seeking infertility therapy in India climbed by 46%, while the total of foreign patients seeking infertility treatment in India increased by 8%.
  4. According to an article published in Open Medicine 2019, Turkey is getting famous for medical tourism IVF treatment costs roughly USD 8,500 in Turkey, which is much less than the US average of USD 12,400.
  5. The same treatment fees in Spain, Sweden, and Norway, range from USD 4,500 to USD 5,700.
  6. Treatment prices in other European countries, such as Australia, the United Kingdom (UK), and Germany, have been estimated to be above USD4,000 per pair.
  7. In Pakistan and Iran, an IVF fertility procedure expense around USD 1,272.
  8. Greece is also a popular destination for overseas patients because it is a comparatively inexpensive destination when compared to other wealthy countries.
  9. Approximately 20,000 to 25,000 couples look for medical assistance with reproductive technology services abroad each year, according to the same source.
  10. Around 4% of European Union inhabitants are treated in nations outside the EU because fertility treatment is regulated.
  11. As per a report published by American Medical Association in 2020, the United States (US) is on top of the list by charging the highest money (144K USD) for heart bypass procedures (Figure 4).
  12. However, Korea is the second number with 28.9K USD and India is in the seventh rank with 5.2K USD.

Medical Tourism Statistics Figure 4

Figure 4: Heart Bypass Expense in Various Countries