Posts tagged medical tourism

Top Medical Tourism Procedures Announced: Growth in Demand Drives Competition

Strategic Healthcare Marketing Initiatives Will Create Clear Winners in Medical Tourism Marketplace

Top Medical Tourism Procedures Announced: Growth in Demand Drives Competition
Most hospitals, medical centers and dental providers involved with medical tourism understand that the most popular procedures driving medical travel in recent years are cosmetic, dental, bariatric and orthopedic procedures.  What may surprise many in the medical tourism industry is the increased number of patients that are traveling to take advantage of other less recognized medical procedures. Treatments such as stem-cell therapy, fertility treatments and cancer treatments have seen significant growth in demand and popularity, reports Pramod Goel, CEO of PlacidWay.

Top Treatments and Procedures by Global Demand Percentage

(Source: PlacidWay Medical Travel Company, 2013)

  • Beauty Procedures (cosmetic, anti-aging, etc.) – 20%
  • Stem Cell Therapy & Chronic Diseases – 13%
  • Fertility Treatment – 12%
  • General Surgeries – 10%
  • Dentistry – 10%
  • Obesity/Bariatric / Weight loss Surgeries – 7%
  • Orthopedic & Spinal Surgery – 7%
  • Alternative Medicine – 7%
  • Eye/Lasik Vision Care – 5%
  • Cancer Treatment – 5%
  • Heart Care/Cardiac Surgeries – 5%

As increased numbers of international patients travel for medical care, more and more hospitals, doctors, dentists and wellness providers will enter the global healthcare marketplace to earn their share of the growing medical tourism market.  This growth in both demand and competition will affect current market leaders and new entrants alike.

Most medical providers will continue to compete on price, quality and location.  However to lead in the emerging medical tourism marketplace, international healthcare providers will need to differentiate their medical services from their competitors.  “An investment in positively branded healthcare marketing, medical advertising and public relations, centered on creating trust-based relationships among potential patients is critical for success in the new international healthcare marketplace,” says Patrick Goodness, CEO of The Goodness Company: Global Healthcare & Medical Tourism Marketing. “Today’s medical traveler is a well-informed and educated buyer.  They’re not just looking for the lowest price.  Today’s medical tourism patients seek a competitive price on quality medical care from someone they trust. The key to success in the competitive medical tourism marketplace is to develop reliable marketing and relationship development strategies that generate confidence and build trust.”

“Since 88% or more of potential patients will learn about your healthcare or wellness practice online, investments in healthcare and wellness branding and website marketing are essential to building a strong pipeline of international patients,” says Goodness. “If potential patients do not understand what makes you special, and what makes your organization a better match for their healthcare needs, they will never choose you.  Successful healthcare marketing is patient-centric.  It answers patient’s questions before they have a chance to ask them, and provides patients with reliable, trustworthy information that enables them to say ‘Yes’ to your offer with complete confidence.  In a competitive global healthcare marketplace, a strategic approach to patient marketing will separate the leaders from the followers and will create clear winners in the expanding medical tourism marketplace.”

About The Goodness Company:

The Goodness Company: Global Healthcare & Medical Tourism Marketing has helped many hospitals, medical centers, private practices and dental clinics create and manage their brands to become leaders in the growing international healthcare marketplace.  The Goodness Company develops high-quality comprehensive healthcare websites, medical marketing, video marketing, results-driven print and online ads, public relations campaigns, and original editorial content to give their clients a competitive edge.  The end result of our efforts is to help our healthcare clients develop lasting relationships with potential patients built on the foundation of credibility, honesty and trust.

If your hospital, medical clinic, dental clinic or health and wellness facility could benefit from targeted healthcare and medical marketing, trust The Goodness Company: the most recognized name in healthcare and medical travel marketing.

Costa Rica: Medical Tourism Hot Spot

Patrick Goodness: CEO The Goodness Company: Medical Tourism Marketing

Millions of tourists come to Costa Rica every year to experience the country’s world-renowned natural treasures and to enjoy a taste of Costa Rica’s friendly, welcoming hospitality.  Over the last decade however, as the price of quality healthcare has skyrocketed in the US with no apparent end in sight, another breed of tourist…the medical tourist…is arriving, intent on seeking out the best and most affordable healthcare options that have made Costa Rica the envy of its Latin and North American neighbors.

Medical tourism in Latin America is a new and exciting trend created by two critical factors.

1. The disparity in healthcare pricing between first world countries like the US and Canada and their second world cousins to the south like Colombia, Costa Rica and Mexico.  For example, a knee replacement may cost upwards of $40,000 in the US and only $8,000-$12,000 in leading Latin American hospitals.  A dental implant may cost $3,000 in the US compared to a price tag of only $700-$900 per tooth in a top Costa Rica dental clinic.

2. The disparity caused by a lack of availability of healthcare procedures that may be restricted or unavailable in North America, but are widely available at much lower prices in other countries.  For example, many Canadians simply do not have access to needed medical procedures when needed, due to long patient waiting lists.  Additionally, many cutting edge or alternative procedures such as stem cell therapy are simply not available in the US, due to ongoing political and scientific debate.  These procedures are available in many countries around the world and are gaining popularity in Latin America as well.

While countries like India and Thailand are global leaders in medical tourism, a report by McKinsey & Company indicates that medical tourists from the US and Canada prefer Latin American countries like Costa Rica, citing proximity, shorter flights, affordable costs and the chance for a memorable vacation as the main reasons for their preference.

While the pricing for medical services is often 50% to 70% less than comparable care in the US, many medical tourists choose Costa Rica for the excellent reputation of its private healthcare system.  In fact, according to the World Health Organization (WHO) Costa Rica is rated higher than the US and many other “first world” nations in terms of quality health care.  A visit to any of Costa Rica’s top private hospitals and dental clinics will provide evidence of Costa Rica’s preferred status.  Modern hospitals, medical clinics and dental centers with cutting edge medical technology are staffed by board-certified doctors and surgeons with impressive national, North American or European training.

Approximately 500,000 Americans travel abroad each year for health care services.  While exact numbers are hard to find, it has been reported that Costa Rica received approximately 75,000 to 100,000 medical tourists in 2010.  These numbers are expected to grow along with Costa Rica’s reputation as a global medical tourism leader.

For those involved in the health care or tourism sectors, medical tourism represents a significant revenue opportunity.  While hospitals, medical clinics and dental centers are clear beneficiaries of increased medical and dental tourism, hotels, restaurants, tour operators and all of their associated supply chain partners should consider medical tourism as an outstanding growth opportunity.

While the average tourist may stay an average of 8-9 days, medical tourists visiting Costa Rica stay an average of 11 days and often travel with friends and family, dramatically increasing tourism revenues.  With medical tourism revenues anticipated to exceed $100 Billion globally in 2012, Costa Rica stands to earn an increasingly larger piece of this very big pie. One ICT approved travel agency, Costa Rican Trails, stresses nature vacation packages and the co-owner, Wilhelm von Breymann, was recently elected as the new Minister of Tourism, and intends to promote not only sustainable tourism, but also the benefits of medical and dental tourism.