Asian medical tourism has grown in popularity in recent years. With a global market share of more than 35%, its market size is predicted to rise at a 15% annual rate. The world's population is aging and increasing wealthy at a rate that high-quality healthcare cannot keep up with. Costs for critical and elective surgery are rising, and governments that provide universal healthcare are facing fiscal challenges. Patients are seeking cross-border healthcare for these reasons. Asian healthcare providers offer world-class medical facilities, highly skilled doctors and medical workers, and a wide range of treatments and procedures at affordable prices. As a result, more than 20 million cross-border patients globally would seek medical treatment in Asia in 2019. In this article, we will look at Asia's medical tourism business and provide a comprehensive guide.

The Advantages of Medical Tourism in Asia

One of the key advantages of medical tourism in Asia is cost reduction. Medical procedures in countries/regions such as the United States, Canada, and Europe can be prohibitively expensive. Medical procedures, on the other hand, are substantially cheaper in nations such as Thailand, India, and Malaysia. Medical tourists can expect to save at least 20% and up to 90% on equivalent procedures in their own nations. Hip replacement, for example, costs roughly US$ 40,364 in the United States, but just US$ 7,813 in Thailand and US$ 6,280-9,860 in Vietnam. This cost savings is attributable in part to lower overhead costs, but also to government subsidies, tax breaks, and lower labor costs.

Despite the cheaper cost, the Asian health systems provide world-class medical facilities as well as highly skilled doctors and medical workers. Along with cutting-edge medical technology and infrastructure, many Asian hospitals and clinics are accredited by international organizations such as the Joint Commission International (JCI). In anticipation of global demand for accrediting standards, the US-based Joint Commission developed the Joint Commission International (JCI) in 1999, under which a foreign hospital must meet the same severe standards as the Joint Commission in the US. JCI certification has now been granted to over 950 hospitals and clinical departments globally, with the number increasing by around 20% per year. It was obtained by around 130 hospitals in Southeast Asia. Furthermore, many Asian doctors and medical professionals have received training in the United States, Canada, and Europe, and they bring that knowledge back to their respective native nations.

The shorter waiting time is another important benefit of getting medical care in Asia. Patients from the West must often must wait for a considerable long time, especially for visits with specialists. Patients traveling internationally for medical care may be able to get in on the same day they arrive in various cases.

Choosing a Destination
Several considerations must be made before selecting a medical tourism location in Asia.

  1. 1. Considering the quality of medical care and facilities. Finding respectable medical facilities that have been recognized by reputable international organizations is important. One may look into the track record of the hospital or clinic in the field of the surgery or therapy of interest.
  2. 2. Taking into account the cost of the procedure. Although healthcare services in Asia are generally more affordable than in Western countries, prices can vary greatly between destinations. To guarantee the best value, research and comparing pricing for the selected operation or therapy in the different countries is essential.
  3. 3. Travel logistics are crucial. This includes the visa or permit requirements set by the destination country, as well as the rest and recovery period before and after the surgery.

Popular Medical Tourism Destinations

  • ● Thailand                        ● South Korea
  • ● Singapore                      ● Japan
  • ● Malaysia                        ● Hong Kong
  • ● India                               ● The Philippines
  • ● Taiwan              


For people seeking medical attention, medical tourism in Asia has several advantages, including lower costs, access to top-notch healthcare facilities, and a reduction in waiting times. Due to this, the sector experiences a steady increase in popularity. However, some locations and countries may be more appealing than others for the medical tourism industry, as patients thoroughly consider variables like the standard of medical care and facilities, price, and potential travel difficulties.


ASEAN national tourism organisations - Top Wellness Tourism Hotspots in Southeast Asia