Growth potential for medical tourism in Costa Rica

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Medical Tourism is travel across an international border for the primary purpose of obtaining medical care that is either unavailable in one’s home country, or is cheaper elsewhere.

According to a recent report available on ReportLinker (a fee-based report aggregator), this already strong market segment is likely to continue to grow for the foreseeable future.

The report, by Allied Market Research, suggests that the global market was valued at over $53 billion in 2017. This was predicted to rise to well over $143 billion by 2025, a compounded annual growth rate of 12.9%.

Costa Rica is already known as a popular destination for medical tourism, especially for cosmetic services and and dental care. The country is known for well-trained practitioners that provide services at considerably lower costs than in the US and Canada, where most medical tourists originate.

Costa Rica may be the perfect place for such care. Some of the money medical tourists save by coming here they can spend enjoying a recovery in a highly desirable climate with plenty of comfortable short-term accommodations. Because of this, medical tourism isn’t just a boon to practitioners in San José. Tourism providers throughout the country should expect to benefit from this sector as well.

But it’s not just about price. Not only is Costa Rica cheaper than many first world economies when it comes to optional or uncovered care, but patients can also often access care faster than they might due to waiting lists in their home countries. The World Health Organisation even rated Costa Rica higher than the United State when it comes to overall performance of health care provision.

Given the projected growth rate of medical tourism, it might not be a bad idea for general tourism providers of all kinds – if not to market directly to such tourists – at least keep this segment and their likely needs in mind when planning their own growth strategies for the coming years.