High Demand for Medical Tourism by GCC Nationals

by Haider Al Lawati ,  Oman Observer.om | 2012-09-10

The number of Arabs, especially wealthy GCC nationals, seeking medical treatment abroad is on the rise despite the existence of some of the finest hospitals in GCC states. Yet, patients will always seek the highest quality medical treatment no matter what the price is.

Nowadays, millions of patients around the world are looking for treatments that ease their pain or give them hope for a cure even if it requires them to travel thousands of miles and leave their homes to receive the desired medical treatment. Medical tourism has become a major source of income for some countries around the world. It creates job opportunities for their citizens and supports tourism. In the past years, several Arab countries have started providing medical treatment for GCC nationals.

However, some foreign countries like Thailand and Malaysia, are now allocating annual budgets for medical institutions to provide scholarship for their students to study medicine in Arab countries, learn the Arabic language to easily attend to Arab patients in the future. This caused an influx of GCC nationals to those countries during the past decade, besides India in order to benefit from the medical services they offer.

Moreover, thousands of GCC nationals travel to developed countries, such as Germany, USA, Britain, etc., to get advanced medical care and treatment for different ailments.

Medical tourism facilitates receiving health and tourism services in the host country. It provides guarantees and helps reassure patients about the quality of services offered in the various treatments that they seek. In addition, the availability of medical insurance in some countries helps some patients to travel abroad for proper treatment, while the launch of nonstop flights by many airlines has played a major role in promoting medical tourism around the world.

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