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Low costs keep Asia top for medical tourists

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Medical tourism in Asia growing at 18% a year

Asia has the top spots for medical tourism destinations, according to the New Delhi-based PHD Chamber’s Medical and Wellness Tourism Report for 2013, with the first five places going to Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, India and South Korea respectively, TTG India writes.

The report predicts medical tourism in Asia will grow at 18% annually through to 2017. Singapore has 22 medical facilities certified by the US-based quality- and safety-accrediting organisation Joint Commission International. By contrast, third-place Malaysia has eight.

“Many US citizens save thousands of dollars by having surgery done in Mexico, Singapore, Thailand or India,” said Reuven Sagi, director of RAS International Tours Mexico. “Some insurance companies encourage medical tourism and incentivise their clients’ trips abroad.”

Debjit Dutta, director of Impression Tourism Services, which does outbound medical tourism from India, commented: “We send critical care patients to Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore for their overall expertise, infrastructure and reputation. Many of our British clients, unwilling to wait in queue for National Health Service facilities, travel to Asia as it is quicker and much cheaper.”

Tourists and hospitals are benefiting from the trend. “The growth of medical tourism in India has led to the enhancement of better and advanced medical facilities in the country,” Parvez Dewan, secretary of India’s Ministry of Tourism, said.

TTG India

[pictured: Medical tourism in Indonesia]

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