The practice of travelling to a foreign country to attain medical services continues to grow as a global phenomenon. Patients around the world are seeking international healthcare solutions to address prevailing issues with cost, quality, and access. The Medical Tourism Association (MTA) has worked with The George Washington University to address information gaps in the medical tourism industry through its most recent 2013 Medical Tourism Survey. The Medical Tourism Association is also committed to raising consumer awareness of international healthcare options, and has specific initiatives designed to educate and increase the number of consumers who travel for healthcare.

Executive Summary

The Medical Tourism Association (MTA) has worked to address information gaps in the medical tourism industry through its 2013 MTA Medical Tourism Survey.


The purpose of the 2013 MTA Medical Tourism Survey was the following:

  • Obtain empirical data on medical tourism through probability sampling.
  • Verify the drivers and deterrents of demand.
  • Affirm treatments in demand.
  • Analyse the economic implications of the medical tourism industry.
  • Confirm destination countries in demand.
  • Identify factors influencing choice in travel, destination, and activities.
  • Segment medical tourists.
  • Establish important areas for further research.


  • Selection of 500 sampling units from a total population of 860 website registrants.
  • Survey interview was a self-administered online survey questionnaire scheduled between April 8, 2013 and April 19, 2013.
  • Collected 49 completed questionnaires, representing a 10% response rate.


  • Nearly 80% of demand for medical travel is driven by cost savings.
  • Cosmetic surgery leads all other treatments, representing 38% of demand.
  • About 92% of total spending on medical travel per patient is less than $30,000.
  • Medical tourists spend between $7,475 and $15,833 per medical travel trip.
  • For 6 million patients, medical travel may contribute $45 – $95 billion to global GDP.
  • Latin America and Asia are the two leading regions for medical travel.
  • Mexico and India respectively have the highest demand for medical tourism.
  • Almost 76% of patients with a future interest in medical travel are American.


  • Medical tourism has become a viable healthcare alternative for patients in the US.
  • There may be new demand trends for treatments and destinations in medical travel.
  • There are untapped niche target market opportunities within medical tourism.


  • Collaborate with stakeholders to conduct annual global market research.
  • Institute policies to expand various markets within medical tourism industry.
  • Collaborate to develop healthcare hubs as a part of regional economic integration.
Get the full MTA 2013 Medical Tourism Survey

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