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Rising cost of care in rich countries is driving patients to seek treatment in developing nations

BMJ 2009; 339 doi: (Published 02 September 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;339:b3541
  1. John Zarocostas
  1. 1Geneva

    “Medical tourism” is forecast to expand rapidly in the next few years, triggered by rising healthcare costs in wealthy nations, says a new report. Countries in Asia and Latin America are becoming major destinations, it says.

    The report, The Rise of Medical Tourism, estimates that the global market in medical tourism will be worth $100bn (£60bn; €70bn) by 2012, up from around $60bn in 2006 and $40bn in 2004. The analysis, compiled by Grail Research LLC, a global research company, suggests that increasing medical tourism is driven in part by emerging countries investing large sums in a bid to capture a slice of this lucrative niche market.

    “Contrary to some perceptions, the services provided reach beyond cosmetic procedures and include more complex, longer-term and costly care,” the report says. The …

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