Medical tourism is seeing healthy growth: almost a quarter-million patients travelled across borders for treatment last year alone. From dental checks to cosmetic surgery, to life-saving procedures, ISO 22525 holds great promise for the sector.
From knee to nose surgery, the global medical tourism market has been on the rise for several years now. In 2019 alone, it enjoyed a market size value of USD 44.8 billion. While the coronavirus pandemic will certainly impact the market share, industry analysts predict good growth in the long term.
So why the sudden growth? Medical tourism guidebook Patients Beyond Borders reports that this market has been rapidly expanding as the population ages and seeks medical treatments that are cheaper, involve shorter waiting times and provide more choice in where and when they receive treatment
To access a medical procedure abroad, potential patients can look online for private hospitals, surgeons, doctors, treatments and recovery processes without having to consult with travel agencies or local doctors. ISO recognizes the risks with this approach and is aiming to ensure that there will be International Standards to cover best-practice medical procedures, clinical risk management, safety and improved outcomes for these patients.
ISO technical committee ISO/TC 228 on tourism and related services is developing a new standard covering the service requirements of medical tourism: ISO 22525, Tourism and related services – Medical tourism – Service requirements.