n Medical Technology SA - Lessons for South Africa from Asia on medical tourism's practice and potential : peer reviewed special article

Volume 25, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1011-5528



This study focuses on the medical tourism market in Asia and particularly on India and Thailand, two countries South Africa should strive to emulate in their offerings for the local medical tourism industry. When tourists travel to another country for medical treatment as well as for sightseeing, the practice is called medical tourism. In the last few years this trend has increased. This emergent global trend of increased medical tourism is expected to gain momentum in the coming decades as travelers seek destinations abroad that are associated with wellness and affordable medical care. How countries are marketing medical tourism destinations and the choices of consumers in this regard are important aspects for the South African tourism market to consider. Additionally, the economic impact of medical tourism on countries such as especially India, where it is virtually a routine practice, and how tourism may be affected by the development of medical pharmaceuticals, medical equipment, and medical industry job creation, are aspects worthy of consideration as South Africa seeks to obtain an important part of the market. Medical tourists cannot make an informed choice about treatment when comparing different hospitals in different countries and at best make a partially informed choice. The strategy should be to get them to come to South Africa because we are a preferred option with a good reputation in healthcare. This article seeks to address these issues and make suggestions on how medical tourism offerings can be improved in South Africa so as to make medical tourism increase in volume.

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