Canada, the United Kingdom, Israel, Singapore and Costa Rica are among the most attractive destinations in the world for medical tourism in 2014, according to a global index published last week by the Medical Tourism Association.
The survey was conducted among 5,000 Americans by the International Healthcare Research Center (IHRC).
Israeli hospitals boost revenues by treating foreigners, but Palestinian patients pose a special challenge.
According to the Medical Tourism Index (MTI), medical travel to Italy, South Korea, Spain, Colombia and Dubai is also gaining appeal.
The MTI measures the attractiveness of a country for medical travel along three key dimensions and 34 underlying criteria.
Canada topped the lists for “country environment” and “medical tourism costs,” Costa Rica for “destination attractiveness,” and Israel for “medical facility and service.”
According to Renée-Marie Stephano, president of the Medical Tourism Association, the MTI “makes a significant contribution so far as providing unbiased information about medical tourism across the globe.
“This information provides not only what patients need to know when planning a medical journey overseas, but serves as a valuable tool for governments, employers and insurance companies, hospitals and doctors, facilitators and related travel and hospitality industries throughout the world.”
The 2014 MTI considered 30 countries – about 60% of the world’s population – from Africa, Asia, Central America, Middle East, South America and North America.
According to estimates, Israel’s medical tourism industry generates more than NIS 1 billion (about $250 million) a year in income and attracts some 60,000 tourists to the country, including patients and their family members or escorts.
Read more at YNET NEWS.