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Medical Tourism 2.0

Destination Healthcare, or medical tourism, is where people travel nationally & internationally to gain access to care, either because they do not have those services locally or they are out of reach financially. It is a fast-growing industry & accelerating.

Many healthcare providers, both here & across the globe, accept international patients & thus engage in medical tourism. However, some places become synonymous with it, such as Bumrungrad Hospital in Thailand, the World’s largest medical tourism facility, or Texas Medical Center in Houston, undoubtedly the most successful healthcare campus globally. These become destinations for medical tourism. That is our goal for the Cayman Islands, to become THE destination for Destination Healthcare in this Region.

An Industry in Motion

Medical tourism has been growing at a compound annual growth rate of around 17%. That outstrips all other major sectors of tourism (especially now) & most other industries. It’s forecast to reach $112 billion USD by 2024 & then onwards from there. There are many drivers of that growth. In all parts of the globe, there are nations with growing numbers of people climbing into income brackets where they can afford healthcare but where supply is the issue.

Tertiary & quaternary care is difficult for many smaller nations to provide, so people travel for specialists & special treatments - & then there is ageing. So many nations have systems that are buckling under the weight of demand due to an ageing population, resulting in rationing, long waits or questionable service levels. In an era where travel is accessible to so many, it is not surprising that medical tourism has grown so fast. For us, it presents an opportunity to create a third economic pillar to our economy, in a field that comes with so many added benefits.

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Perfectly Placed

The Cayman Islands is perfectly placed to become THE destination for Destination Healthcare. We sit right in the middle of multiple markets, where there is no current lead destination.

More than 1.4m Americans travel internationally, far further than the Cayman Islands, in search of high quality care that’s affordable. Canadians travel because they might have to wait a year for say orthopaedic surgery. Central & South Americans travel in search of different levels of care, & our own direct region, the Caribbean, seeks out tertiary & quaternary services from Florida & beyond, simply because it is unsustainable to run those types of services domestically.

The Covid Effect

Medical tourism is set to grow further, at the hands of decimated health systems. Major Western nations are talking about needing 4-5 years to get back to their pre-Covid activity levels & some have experienced a 4,000+% increase in people waiting more than 52 weeks for elective care. It’s a story replicated over the world. But it’s also a reason why medical tourism is going to be more in demand than ever.

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Perfect Partner

The secret sauce that creates success in medical tourism is a combination of highest quality of care, latest technologies & an affordable price point. It so happens that Aster DM Healthcare, our partner in Aster Cayman Medicity, has spent decades building a highly successful organistion on exactly those principles.

It’s therefore not surprising that they already run the second largest medical tourism facility in the world. Now, that’s a successful model that Aster is bringing to the Cayman Islands to help us become THE destination for Destination Healthcare for the Region.

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