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Rebuilding Medical and Wellness Tourism in a post pandemic world


In the last decade, these ASEAN destinations gained the reputation of being the most preferred medical travel site in the region. In Malaysia, the health ministry sped up the growth and development of the industry, setting up regulations to put the country’s medical travel business on a global scale. In 2016, the country’s revenue from medical tourism rose to more than $238 million from its over 900,000 medical tourists that year.

Similarly, Singapore upped its stake in the medical tourism market by rebranding its medical travel industry to attract international patients who seek affordable complex medical treatments. The country improved the quality of its healthcare facilities to obtain accreditations from the Joint Commission International (JCI), attracting more than 500,000 medical tourists to its burgeoning market. Thailand also closed the gap of top medical destinations in Asia, outpacing other countries in the region. Thailand is home to Bumrungrad International Hospital, one of the largest private hospitals in Southeast Asia and one of the most preferred medical tourism destinations in the region.

Although the United States remains the major international market for medical tourists, the ASEAN destinations have recorded the fastest growth in the last few years, expanding at a predicted growth rate of 15.5% between 2017 and 2023. International patients travel to these destinations to receive top-notch medical care at a fraction of the cost of similar treatments in the US. In many hospitals in ASEAN countries, the cost of care is up to 70% cheaper than in the US. For instance, a coronary artery bypass graft costs around $92,000 in the US but can be done for less than $17,000 in Malaysia. 

But with the widespread coronavirus travel restrictions, the projected growth of the industry has reversed. Several months-long travel restrictions that have barred medical tourists from entering the region to seek care, decelerating the growth of the industry in the region.

In July, Malaysia opened its doors to medical tourists from six countries, including Singapore, Japan, and Australia, which have a relatively small outbreak. Malaysia has also remodeled its healthcare for the international market, leveraging telemedicine to provide medical care until global travel is restored. Malaysia’s hospitals are focusing on using telemedicine platforms to provide international patients with access to cancer treatments, cardiology clinics, and fertility treatments. Thailand is also making a bold move to rejuvenate the industry. In July, a month after reporting zero virus transmission, the province of Phuket in Thailand reopened its doors to international patients in a $97 million project to revive and expand the industry. The project, which is subject to the approval of the ministries of Public Health and Tourism and Sports, involves the construction of four world-class medical facilities, an international health plaza, an ultramodern long-term care center for the aged, and a comprehensive rehabilitation center. 

Adapted from Southeast Asia – Rebuilding Medical Tourism amid the Pandemic

Retrieved from Medical Tourism Magazine (Published 10 March 2021)



Assignment Title

Rebuilding Medical and Wellness Tourism in a post pandemic world

Assignment Objectives

This is an individual assignment in the form of a typed report using the template provided in Appendix 1 (Cover Page Report and Plagiarism Declaration Template).

This assignment requires you to research, analyse and make recommendations on the following:

The continuing demands for medical tourism and how the companies are coping or adapting to the current challenges. The report should include internal and external factors affecting their businesses at this time.

Recommend measures that selected medical tourism companies can take to attract medical or wellness travelers to rebuild the Wellness and Tourism industry.

Recommend how wellness tourism companies can explore current wellness trends to improve their overall business based on their marketing strategy.

You are required to conduct a research via the internet and to use your student resources to write your report. Where appropriate, you are required to show evidences using tables, diagrams or articles, etc. in your submission of the assignment in the appendix.

In this analysis, you need to apply the concepts learnt from lesson 1 to 17 on Medical and Wellness Tourism.

You are required to use the first page template provided for your submission.

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