Medical Tourism Statistics: Travel by the Numbers

Throughout Canada there are significant gaps in insurance coverage or a lack of insurance benefits all together. Additional costs combined with increased wait times makes seeking medical care abroad more than reasonable. Medical tourism is a broad spectrum that covers a wide range of treatments and services, each of which contribute to a higher quality of life in one way or another. As the practice of medical tourisms becomes more and more popular, the industry is being monitored closely and increasingly regulated.

The most common medical procedures performed abroad include:

  • Spinal Surgery
  • Cardiovascular Procedures
  • Cosmetic Procedures 
  • Dental Procedures
  • In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)
  • Dermatology
medical tourism

When travelling, not all patients are honest about seeking medical treatment abroad which has made tracking the number of users and revenue brought in by offering medical care to foreign patients. There are a few reasons that patients might be less than willing to admit that they are travelling for treatments, particularly when dealing with cosmetic surgery. Patients may be embarrassed to admit that they are seeking out sensitive procedures or may be wary about whether or not there are legal ramifications of travelling for a medical service. The growing popularity of people travelling for medical services has opened the door for more honesty with patients and allows companies to decipher how many patients are travelling, what procedures they are seeking out and where they are travelling to.

Medical Tourism: Estimated Travellers & Popular Destinations

In 2019, the reported market size of the medical tourism industry is 74-92 billion USD (99.6 – 124 billion CAD), based on approximately 21-26 million cross-border patients. The most common places to seek medical treatment aboard are Costa Rica, India, Israel, Malaysia, Mexico, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, and the United States.

If you find yourself asking why these destinations are the most popular, it is based on a wide range of factors ranging from tourism infrastructure, reputation for excellence in the medical field and in clinics, history of healthcare innovation and advancement in medical technology and acceptance of international patient flow.

Medical Tourism Statistics: Travel by the Numbers