Wellness Tourism: The effects of the Globalization of the Healthcare Industry William Lane Gokul Mundhra F. J. DeMicco University of Delaware - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Wellness Tourism: The effects of the Globalization of the Healthcare Industry William Lane Gokul Mundhra F. J. DeMicco University of Delaware


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Title: Wellness Tourism: The effects of the Globalization of the Healthcare Industry William Lane Gokul Mundhra F. J. DeMicco University of Delaware

Wellness TourismThe effects of the
Globalization of the Healthcare IndustryWilliam
LaneGokul MundhraF. J. DeMiccoUniversity of
Why the need?
  • Going abroad for surgery is not just the only
    reason to go abroad. Many now combine it with a
    trip to the Taj Mahal, a photo safari on the
    African wild, or a stay at a hospital that feels
    like a luxury hotel, and all at bargain basement
    prices. This is medical tourism, and its one the
    hottest niche markets in the hospitality industry.

  • Medical tourism or medical travel is the act of
    traveling to other countries to obtain medical,
    dental, and surgical care.
  • Leisure aspect of traveling may be included on
    such a medical travel trip.
  • It includes medical services (inclusive of
    elective procedure and complex specialized
    surgeries) like knee/hip replacement, heart
    surgery, dental procedures and different cosmetic

Medical Tourists
  • In some regions, state-of-the-art treatments and
    facilities are hard to come by, if they exist at
    all. For that reason, patients throughout the
    Middle East are traveling to places such as
    Jordan or Asia for complicated surgeries.

  • Singapore
  • India
  • Thailand
  • Brunei
  • Cuba
  • Hong Kong
  • Hungary
  • Israel
  • Jordan
  • Lithuania
  • Malaysia
  • Latvia
  • Philippines
  • UAE
  • Argentina
  • Bolivia
  • Brazil
  • Costa Rica
  • Mexico
  • Turkey
  • Belgium
  • Poland
  • South Africa.

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Health Care
  • In countries with public health care systems, the
    system can get so overburdened it can take years
    to get proper needed care. Hence many people in
    Britain and Canada are seeking help from other
    countries such as India and Thailand for their
    healthcare, where you can be in the operating
    room in Bangkok or Bangalore the morning after
    you step off the plane.

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Prices contd.
  • Heart-Valve replacement in the US 200,000 or
    more, in India, 10,000 including round trip
    airfare and a brief vacation.
  • Metal free dental bridge in the US 5,500, in
    India, 500.
  • Thailand, knee replacement surgery with six days
    of physical therapy, 5,000, one-fifth the price
    it would cost in the US.
  • Lasik eye surgery in the US, 3,700, in Thailand,
  • Full facelift in the US, close to 20,000 or
    more, in South Africa, about 1,250.

  • favorable government regulations and support
  • set up a committee or task force comprising heads
    of industry, eminent medical practitioners, and
    maybe insurance companies that is involved in
    setting guideline and policy for the industry
  • revising tax laws to make it more conducive to
    invest in the industry
  • make available imports with reduced duties on
    medical equipment, and essential drugs
  • focus on alternate healing methods which
    originate from the country like acupuncture and
    acupressure from china, yoga and ayurveda from
  • Areas that are tourist attractions should be
    developed to facilitate investments in health

Low Price
  • For many though, it is simply the low price that
    is the real attraction. The cost of surgery in
    India, Thailand, or South Africa can be one-tenth
    the price of a counterpart in the US or Western

Non-US does not mean bad
  • The hospitals and clinics that cater to the
    tourist are often the best in the world.
  • Many are staffed by doctors trained at the major
    medical centers in American and Europe.
  • Bangkoks Bumrundgrad hospital has over 200
    surgeons who are board-certified in the US.
  • One of Singapores major hospitals is a branch of
    the prestigious John Hopkins University.
  • Escorts Heart Institute and Research Center, in
    Delhi and Faridabad, carries out nearly 15,000
    heart operations each year with a death rate of
    only 0.8 percent, less than half of most major
    hospitals in the US.

Not just the Doctors
  • Many overseas Hospitals have doctors who are
    supported by more registered nurses than any
    facility in the Western countries could offer.
  • Some provide single-patient rooms that look more
    like four star hotels, with a nurse dedicated to
    that patient 24 hours a day!
  • Along with the chance of a quick vacation before
    or after the surgery, many patients are even
    assigned a personal assistant.
  • Employer option Hannaford Bros. Co. offers a
    foreign hospital in its network of service

Rapid Growth
  • Ten years ago, the overseas market was hardly
    noticeable, now, over 250,000 patients visit
    Singapore alone, nearly half coming from the
    Middle East.
  • In 2002 150,000 traveled to India for care and
    surgery, today, nearly 500,000.
  • The McKinsey consulting firm estimates that
    medical tourism will bring India as much as 2.2
    Billion USD per year by 2012.
  • Along with the major players, Argentina, Costa
    Rica, Cuba, Jamaica, South Africa, Jordan,
    Malaysia, Hungary, Latvia, and Estonia all have
    broken into this lucrative market.

Contributing Trends
  • By 2015 the health of the vast Baby Boom
    generation will have begun its slow, final
  • Over 70 million boomers in the US, and over 150
    million when Canada, Europe, Australia, and New
    Zealand are taken into account.
  • These boomers represent an overwhelming market
    for inexpensive, high quality medical care.
  • Medical tourism will be particularly attractive
    in the US, where an estimated 43 million people
    are without health insurance and perhaps 120
    million lack dental coverage.
  • This number is likely to grow quickly as many
    companies cut back or eliminate their health
  • Joint commission International accrediting agency
    is an affiliate of the Joint commission which
    accredits hospitals in the U.S.

  • healthcare unaffordable to the local population.
  • issues regarding infringements on rights to
    intellectual property because different countries
    have different laws concerning the same
  • question of ethics when it comes to the donors of
  • Research methods in some developing countries are
    not regulated by law (human trials, animal
    testing, DNA research, and artificial
    reproduction of human tissue)

Largest Players
  • Thailand started its medical tourism in 1997,
    during the economic crash that hammered much of
    Asia sent canny healthcare providers looking for
    new markets. Today it is the largest and
    best-established destination for foreign
    patients, particularly from Japan and the US.
    Some 1.2 million Japanese visited Thailand in

Largest Players Ctd.
  • Bangkok and Phuket No fewer than six medical
    facilities in Bangkok have hospital accreditation
    from the US. Bumrungrad Hospital alone sees
    850,000 patients per year, 40 percent of them
    from abroad.
  • They attract people for cosmetic surgery, dental
    treatments, eye surgery, dialysis, and organ

Vacation Surgery Good thing!
  • For vacation possibilities, Phuket is clearly the
    choice though. With some of the most spectacular
    shorefront scenery on the planet. The mess left
    by last Decembers tsunami has already been
    cleared away and the beaches are cleaner than at
    any time in a decade.
  • The other draw to Phuket? Bangkok Phuket
    Hospital is probably the best place in the world
    to go for sex-change surgery. In fact, it is one
    one of the top ten procedures that patients visit
    Thailand for.

  • India is a relative newcomer to the medical
    tourism arena, but is quickly catching up. Just
    two years ago, McKinsey predicted that the number
    of foreign patients seeking care in India would
    grow by 15 percent. Most estimates put the
    growth at 30 percent already.
  • It helps a lot that English is one of the many
    native languages in India, and the one spoken by
    all educated Indians. Also cost of care and low
    cost for follow-up trips are a boost.

India Ctd.
  • India also has top notch centers for open heart
    surgery, pediatric heart surgery, hip and knee
    replacement, cosmetic surgery, dentistry, bone
    marrow transplants, cancer therapy, and just
    about any other specialty that a patient could
  • Many of these center are among the best in the
    world. Virtually all equipped with the latest
    state of the art medical and diagnostic
    equipment, and India has the technological
    sophistication to maintain it.

India Ctd.
  • Also, Indian pharmaceuticals meet the stringent
    requirements of the US FDA, while its quality of
    care is also up to American standards.
  • India also offers many services not available in
    the US, such as hip resurfacing. Instead of a
    total hip replacement, in which damaged bone is
    scraped away and replaced by a chrome alloy. The
    operation is well tested and highly successful,
    but has not yet been approved for use in the US.

India Ctd.
  • Not only surgery attracts patients, but the
    chances for a vacation. From a tour of the Taj
    Mahal to a half-day safari in the White
    Tiger-Bandhavgarh Nation Park, shopping for
    handicrafts in the tribal villiages of Orissa and
    Madhya Pradesh, or even skin-diving in the Indian

Costa Rica
  • Not only offering surgeries at one-third the cost
    of similar treatments in the US, Costa Rica is
    also in the backyard for many Americans.
    Cosmetic surgery and dental work are their
  • Add in its ecological wonders such as some of the
    largest, best protected Rain Forests in the
    Central America, to the fire show of the Arenal
    Volcano. For more urban tastes, there is always
    the casinos of San Jose, Puntarenas, and

South Africa
  • South Africa is where you want to go for sun,
    surf, and surgery, all within easy reach of
    lions, elephants, or the beaches of the Sunshine
    Coast. South African surgeons tend to be
    academically sound, but conservative, so this is
    probably not the best place to go for the latest
    breakthrough in neurosurgery.
  • Most common and well know procedures are cosmetic
    in nature.

Other Facts
  • Argentina is the fifth most popular destination
    in the world for plastic surgery, and the number
    of medical visitors is expected to grow by 50
    percent in the next two years.
  • Cuba is resurrecting its once-renowned medical
    facilities in an effort to attract medical
    tourist dollars. Cosmetic and eye surgery, and a
    well regarded womens hospital are all among the

Facts Ctd.
  • Hungary is drawing visitors from Western Europe,
    and growing numbers from the US, for high quality
    plastic surgery and dental care for as little as
    half the price in nearby Germany and up to 60
    percent cheaper than the US.
  • Iran has been eyeing the success of Jordan in
    attracting medical tourists from other parts of
    the Middle East and has its sights set on pulling
    patients for cardiovascular and orthopedic
    surgery, dentistry, organ transplants, and even
    psychiatric care.

Facts Ctd.
  • Dubai is seen as a better deal, already known as
    a luxury vacation paradise on the Red Sea. Dubai
    Healthcare City, scheduled to open in 2010, will
    be the largest medical center between Europe and
    Southeast Asia and will have
    a branch of the Harvard
    Medical School on

Facts Ctd.
  • Malaysia offers advanced care at low prices in a
    variety of specialties, but has been handicapped
    by a lack of doctors and technicians.
  • The Philippines are still underdeveloped land as
    far as medical tourism goes, but that may not
    remain true for long. Bangkoks Bumrungrad
    Hospital recently mad a major investment in the
    Asian Hospital and Medical Center outside Manila
    in hope of cloning its own success and attracting
    vacationing patients.

Contact Details
  • Dr. Frederick J. DeMicco
  • Professor and ARAMARK Chair,
  • Hotel Restaurant Management
  • Dr. Marvin Cetron
  • President Forecasting International
  • Address The University of Delaware,
  • 14 W. Main Street-Raub Hall,
    Newark, Delaware 19716
  • Tel 1 302 831 6077
  • URL www.hrim.udel.edu
  • E-Mail FDeMicco_at_udel.edu
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