Africa Rises as Emerging Continent for Medical Tourism Needs
While many patients seeking medical treatment outside abroad generally turn to European and Asian destinations for procedures without a second thought, the 21st century globalization of travel and other technological advancements have caused a new continent for medical care to rise in popularity: Africa. Positioned upon the second largest land-mass in the world, a multitude of African countries are beginning to invest their time and care into developing themselves into an attractive medical tourism destination, offering both top-quality care and irreplaceable travel experiences in one unique package.
Leading the pack is South Africa, whose perennial population of top doctors performed the very first heart transplant in 1967. In the new millenia, South Africa saw 1.9 million foreign tourists enter the country just between 2003 and 2008 alone – a number that has only steadily climbed upward since. A 2010 government economic plan put medical tourism at the forefront of South Africa’s infrastructure development strategy, investing millions of dollars into the construction of new state-of-the-art facilities and making seeking care in the country an enticing option for international patients.
The North African country of Tunisia has likewise arisen as a major medical tourism powerplayer in the continent, attracting some 577,300 foreign patients in one year as per statistics from 2017. With government incentives facilitating the industry’s growth, Tunisia has particularly become a favorite of European travelers looking for cost-efficient care, ranking second in the world to France for water-centric thalassotherapy treatments.
Another northern country, Morocco, has too seen major success in the medical tourism world. Featuring specializations in dental care and cosmetic treatments, the King of Morocco enacted his Vision 2020 strategic plan to expand the region’s medical tourism services in 2010, a move that paid off in spades: Morocco took in more than 300,000 foreign medical tourists in 2020 alone, amidst the covid-19 pandemic.
Beyond its cost-efficient care and gold standard medical personnel, it's no surprise that a number of African countries' investments in the sector are gaining international recognition and simultaneously rapidly moving up spots in global medical tourism indexes. Though offering competitive pricing on a treatment level in comparison to rivals, seeking care in Africa as opposed to other regions becomes even more alluring when taking in account the tourism aspect; between intimate safari excursions that can be arranged before or after a procedure, natural hot springs, and a wealth of native flora and fauna to be discovered, African countries provide an exciting travel opportunity and experience unlike anything else available around the world. MyMedChoices has the solution. Please feel free to reach out to Dr. Mary Schreiber Swenson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mary Schreiber Swenson, PhD
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