Medical tourism is a high-growth industry being driven by globalization and rising healthcare costs in developed countries. More than thirty countries in Asia, Africa and Eastern Europe are serving millions of medical tourists annually.
Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, India and Philippines are the major destinations in the Asian medical tourism market. Thailand is more popular among Western European medical tourists or cosmetic surgery. Singapore and India specialize in complex procedures with India having a cost advantage and Singapore a technology advantage.
Global economic downturn has resulted in decline in visitor numbers in Singapore and the same holds true for medical tourists also. The decline is most among Indonesian patients, but is being compensated by patients from other places such as Vietnam and the Middle East. The private healthcare market in Singapore could witness a period of slower growth due to declining medical tourists.