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Medical Tourism News from Mexico, Nigeria and Eastern Europe

Medical tourism is growing worldwide and the news from different destinations confirm this trend.

Mexico for example has become the second destination in importance after the United States. In the past year it received more than 1 million patients from other countries for medical treatments. This figure includes also Mexican emigrants returning just for treatments.

In terms of earnings, revenue from medical tourism increased by 96% in 10 years (from USD $544 million in 2006 to US $4.798 billion in 2016) and the forecasts for 2017 says that it will continue growing reaching 6 billions dollars. It has to be said anyway that one of the main factor of this growth is the costs for treatments, that are much lower in Mexico.

To exploit at the most Mexico’s great potential Enrique de la Madrid, Federal Tourism Secretary, communicated the creation of the “Medical Tourism Advisory Council” whose aim is it to build public policies to manage and boost medical tourism in the country  

Central and Eastern Europe as well, have experienced in the past years a significant growth in medical tourism with double-digit expansion. For example Poland is well known for dental treatments and plastic surgery, while Hungary has a good reputation for dental services in particular and Czech Republic for cataract surgery.

Patients come from different European Countries both from Northern and Southern Europe and from Soviet republics both because of competitive prices and thanks to the 2011 EU directive that allows patients to be refunded if they get medical treatments in any EU member state.

All these countries have a further growth potential but it is fundamental to invest and have a focused business strategy. Translating a website in different languages is not enough if you don’t have a clear idea of your target, of the market and of the competitors,

In this area Destination Health operates with its partner Rex Rea, covering the Balkans region to support local healthcare providers in Internationalization strategies. 

On the other hand Nigeria is experiencing a relevant growth in outgoing patients in search of medical treatments abroad. The Ministry of Health has estimated that, last year, patients from this state spent over 2 billion dollars to receive treatments abroad. This can be a challenge both for the country and its government, which needs to invest more in improving its health facilities, but also for foreign countries willing to attract patients from the region.

Even if cost seem to be one of the driving factors of medical tourism growth, it is important to remember that quality and state-of-the-art treatments have capital importance in the decision making process of many patients, as emerged from a market research made by Destination Health just few weeks ago on medical tourism from United Arab Emirates and Gulf Coast Countries.

Destination Health is an international network offering consultancy on Internationalization to healthcare providers all over the world, from USA to Africa, from Europe to Middle East.

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