2023… A year of opportunity for medical travel?


After two years of trauma, is medical journey within the restoration room and able to get again to enterprise in 2023? IMTJ Editor in Chief, Keith Pollard, asks: what alternatives for enterprise development has the pandemic created?

In December 2019, the primary human instances of COVID-19 have been recognized in Wuhan, China. In January 2020, the World Well being Group (WHO) declared the COVID-19 outbreak a Public Well being Emergency of Worldwide Concern, and on 11 March 2020, a worldwide pandemic was declared by WHO. What adopted affected each nation on the planet, put a cease to worldwide journey and tourism and created main challenges for the creating medical tourism sector.

So… will 2023 see the restoration of medical journey, and has the pandemic created alternatives for renewed development within the sector?

Assembly pent-up demand

The pandemic put unprecedented stress on home healthcare methods, creating lengthy ready lists for remedy and inspiring sufferers to hunt different options to their healthcare wants. Some suppliers have been fast to grab this chance for brand new enterprise and serve sufferers who’ve change into pissed off by the delays of their home healthcare system. An article, last week, in the Daily Telegraph, a UK nationwide newspaper, acknowledged:

  • “an growing variety of UK sufferers opting to journey overseas for important medical remedy. From Lithuania to Hungary, Croatia, Estonia, Latvia, and naturally, Turkey, Jap Europe is changing into a hotspot for Brits confronted with the dual problems with NHS ready lists and the exorbitant prices of personal healthcare.”

The Medical Diagnostics and Treatment Centre in Lithuania’s capital, Vilnius sees greater than 5,000 UK sufferers yearly, for every part from weight-loss surgical procedure, full well being check-ups, to orthodontic remedy. The Nordorthopaedics Clinic in Kaunas, Lithuania can be seeing a rise in sufferers from the UK, Eire, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, and Switzerland. Each healthcare suppliers have been fast to grab the chance to capitalise on the pent-up demand in European healthcare methods.

An answer for “Lengthy Covid” victims

Researchers have been investigating the impression of “lengthy Covid”. Covid-19 causes a good portion of individuals to expertise signs lengthy after the preliminary illness, even when the preliminary illness was delicate. An analysis in the Journal of the American Medical Association estimated that if lengthy Covid remedy is much like that of continual fatigue syndrome, it could price about US$9,000 every year per affected person. A 2022 research estimated that it’ll price the US between US$149bn and US$362bn in medical bills and misplaced earnings. The WHO estimates that a minimum of 17 million individuals within the European Area skilled lengthy COVID within the first two years of the pandemic and that hundreds of thousands might should dwell with it for years to come back. The British Medical Journal has reported that sufferers with lengthy Covid are travelling to non-public clinics in Cyprus, Germany, and Switzerland for blood filtering apheresis and anticoagulation medication. Though specialists have questioned whether or not such invasive remedies needs to be supplied with out adequate proof, there’s clearly a spot available in the market for these medical wellness clinics and healthcare suppliers that consider they will provide an answer for lengthy Covid victims.

The Lengthy Covid Centre at Poseidonia Healthcare in Larnaca, Cyprus has attracted over 100 sufferers searching for remedy. In Switzerland, a number of well-known rehabilitation clinics, together with Oberwaid Clinic and Waldhotel Health & Medical Excellence are addressing the issue by providing individually tailor-made lengthy Covid programmes.

A dental journey growth?

While governments are working onerous to make sure that their hospitals can deal with the demand for elective surgical procedure, the eye has been taken away from an space of healthcare that represents a major space of medical journey.  On this week’s IMTJ, we function a report on the shortcomings of publicly funded dental care. The report states regardless of the excessive prevalence of oral ailments and poor dental well being, statutory cowl of dental care is restricted in lots of European international locations by restricted service packages and excessive non-public funding in comparison with different well being providers.

Dental journey has at all times been a wealthy supply of earnings for these clinics which have focused under-provided supply markets. In 2023 and past, the stress on public funding for healthcare will little doubt drive many extra individuals to discover the choices for dental remedy overseas.  On LaingBuisson’s medical journey portal, Treatment Abroad, there’s been a restoration in guests/enquirers searching for data on dental remedy overseas, up 75% from the tail finish of 2021.

Figuring out the alternatives

The three sectors talked about above are simply three areas of alternative that 2023 presents to these within the medical journey enterprise. The problem for healthcare suppliers aiming to develop their enterprise in 2023 is figuring out the place these new enterprise alternatives are, methods to exploit them and whether or not the chance is correct for them.  That’s the place IMTJ’s Country Profiles are available. IMTJ Nation Profiles allow you to search out out all you want to find out about a selected supply market, and entry the most recent information, articles, data and statistics regarding inbound and outbound medical journey for that nation. For simply £400 for a one year subscription, you’ll additionally get unique entry to a whole lot of articles offering insightful opinion and commentary from business specialists. Cash effectively spent in the event you’re aiming to develop your online business in 2023.


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