Gulf Residents Explore Medical Tourism
South Asian medical travel destinations attract people from all across the world with the promise of quality medical care at affordable costs. Residents of the oil-rich Gulf countries in particular are looking at medical tourism players in the region like Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand for all conceivable health tourism procedures ranging from face lifts to heart surgeries.
Medical Tourism in Singapore
The government of Singapore is keen to increase the health tourism potential of the country with reference to the Gulf states. It was with this aim of promoting co-operation in healthcare that Singapore’s Ministry of Health recently signed an agreement with Dubai’s Department of Health and Medical Services (DOHMS). According to Ke-Wei Peh, Singapore Tourism Board’s area director for the Middle East and Africa,
“Singapore continues to look at ways to ensure that overseas patients who are looking for treatment within our advanced system have the opportunity to access it. Our vision is to provide a complementary offering to healthcare systems across the Middle East, with a focus on advanced and innovative areas of medicine within Singapore.”
Singapore hosts an average of 200 patients from the Gulf traveling to its hospitals for health tourism every month.
Medical Travel to Malaysia
Malaysia is also eager to woo tourists from the Gulf. Apart from the low cost of procedures in Malaysia, the government offers discounted tickets to family members of patients travelling to the country. Syed Muhadzir Jamallulil, head of Tourism Malaysia in Dubai opines, “There are a lot of facilities in Malaysia that can take care of the medical needs of travellers from the Middle East. They are much cheaper than the Gulf.”
Thailand Medical Travel
Thailand is a leader in medical tourism. Bumrungrad Hospital, a key player in the industry, is planning to expand operations in the Gulf with a new facility planned in Dubai. With such aggressive promotion, South Asia is poised to draw increased numbers of tourists for medical travel.