Medical tourism has increased over the last few years. From a market perspective, the revenue of medical tourism will be around $31.9 billion in 2023, a figure that is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 14% over the next four years.
When living in a country with a high average cost of medical treatment and prescription drugs, visiting another part of the world for a procedure can often be cheaper. But cost is not the only factor, as some patients choose to travel to access more advanced medical care or specialized treatments. With that said, which countries are the best and most popular for medical tourism?
Our experts at Universal Drugstore have analyzed the countries with the highest number of surgical procedures and searches for surgical procedures. We also looked at the cost of some of the most common medical procedures in each country.
We compiled a seed list of countries well-known for medical tourism using Medical Tourism Review and Medical Tourism Magazine.
We then researched the total number of surgeries using OECD.stat - Surgical Procedures, taking the number of all surgical procedures per 100,000 for the most recent year that data was available, which was 2021, except for the following countries: Australia, New Zealand and Japan, where the most recent data was from 2020. Countries without recently available data were excluded.
We then made a seed list of common general and cosmetic surgeries, using John Hopkins Medicine’s “Common Surgical Procedures” and “Cosmetic Plastic Surgery Overview”. From here, we used Google Keyword Planner to determine the top five most searched general and cosmetic procedures globally. We then researched which countries had searched for these procedures the most between September 2022 and August 2023, adding up the searches for the five individual procedures to get a total for both general and cosmetic surgeries.
We then scored each country out of 10 based on how they performed on the above factors using a percent rank scoring system.
For the prices of medical procedures, we looked at ten countries using Medical Tourism and Health Tourism. For Turkey; both sources provided quotes from 2019. We looked at the four most searched procedures from the previous section, then calculated the average cost across the four procedures and ranked the countries on that figure. South Korea was removed from the data due to a lack of data on liposuction and tummy tucks.