The Pacific Asia Travel Association’s annual conference was just held recently, and medical travel in Asia was discussed as an important sector for Asian tourism. According to the key opinion leaders, long-term growth of the sector was expected to come from within the region. Attracting patients from other regions is still important, and the development of medical travel in Asia will have to take into account the needs and preferences of travelers from both faraway and near locations.
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For a time, Asian destinations were considered as a niche market for travelers seeking medical treatment. With the advancements in the quality of care in medical centers throughout the region, Asian destinations became recognized and eventually emerged as the preferred option for patients seeking high-quality care that’s cheaper than what is offered in their home countries.
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Currently, there have been many discussions regarding the future of the medical travel industry. Industry specialists expect that healthcare institutions will also respond to the need for lower cost of care, which will reduce the number of patients traveling overseas for medical treatment. Meanwhile, those in the medical travel industry see opportunities for growth in responding to the needs of patients who are also travelers. The long-term development of medical travel, therefore, is hinged on not just offering lower-cost healthcare options, but also on creating complete travel and medical treatment packages that encourage a patient’s quick recovery.
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Steven Lash is currently the president and CEO of Satori World Medical, a leading medical travel company based in San Diego. Find more news about the healthcare industry on www.satoriworldmed.com.