The economic slowdown didn’t seem to stop the medical tourism industry from growing even further. Many sectors have been affected by the global downturn leading to mass lay-offs in the US, credit crisis and business shutting down. On the other hand medical tourism has seen a steady rise in the number of patients visiting from the US to Asia and parts of Europe.
According to a report by Global Industry Analysts, the tourism sector grew in 2011 with consumer confidence and enthusiasm heading back to pre-recession levels. Medical tourism is expected to exhibit continuous growth in the coming years.
The economic crisis and job losses created the need to look good for a new job, which promoted more medical tourists to travel for plastic surgery abroad. Job hunters know that an easy-on-the-eyes face helps to get a foot in the door.
The global financial crisis had been brewing for a while, which hit its peak back in the middle of 2007 and into 2008.
Around the world stock markets have dropped, large financial centers collapsed, while the medical travel industry had been gaining momentum as a robust global travel and treatment business.
The US health care system has also played a part in fueling the expansion of the health care tourism industry for fertility treatments in Mexico attracting couples from the US to undergo Cancun IVF, egg donation in Guadalajara and gender selection Cancun.
“23 Million American travelers are expected to travel to Latin America, Asia and Middle East and will spend USD 60 billion, by 2017.” A recent survey by Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited reported.
The study also stated that 1,50,000 US citizens experienced medical treatment abroad in 2006 —the majority being in Asia and Latin America.
Middle East and Asia have two important regions that are growing more in popularity and interest particularly among European patients.
Although plastic surgery in Lebanon is known for high domestic demand; it is one of the fastest growing international aesthetic surgery hubs in the Middle East, thanks to the skilled medical practitioners and advanced cosmetic technology.
IVF Israel is a beacon of hope many infertility patients flying from the UK and the UK to escape the unyielding fertility laws in their own country. Fertility clinics in Israel are well-equipped with the most advanced assisted reproductive technology and are backed by a long history of successful IVF practice.
The sunny island of the Mediterranean, Cyprus, is a fertility haven for many British patients, favored for its warm climate and year-round summer sun.
Fertility clinics in Cyprus behold diverse IVF procedures to treat a variety of infertility problems, including egg donation, IUI and gender selection.
The Far East is flourishing with a cutting-edge plastic surgery facilities located in South Korea and Thailand. Plastic surgery of South Korea attracts more patients beyond its local market. A vast number of medical patients travel to South Korea for face, skin and body contouring surgery.
In Europe- where it is hit the hardest by recession- medical tourists are fortunate to have Belgium plastic surgery clinics and plastic surgery in Poland offering an affordable variety of procedures to suit their budget and appearance goals.
With US reforms underway introducing free, socialist-style health care system; more medical tourists from the US will pour in Asian and European plastic surgery clinics to avoid long-waiting times and enjoy a well-deserved vacation.
Medical experts are anticipating more medical tourists to grow into double figures by the end of next year after the new health care system is launched in the US.