There are several reasons why Taiwan is such a well-regarded fertility tourism destination by patients from all over the world. For one, the modernized Taiwan healthcare system includes numerous top-class infertility centers that provide all the key procedures that are prevalent in Western clinics.
So each year, scores of couples who are hoping to start families – but who face complications conceiving naturally – choose from the array of fertility treatments in Taiwan. And what they experience are high levels of success and, usually, cost savings too.
One of the country’s foremost centers of excellence is the National Taiwan University Hospital (NTUH) in Taipei. Its Fertility and Reproductive Medicine Center is comprised of a multidisciplinary team of specialists which includes geneticists who are expert in cutting-edge techniques like pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD).
PGD is a way for doctors to check whether certain genetic diseases such as cystic fibrosis, Beta-thalassemia, and sickle cell anemia exist in an embryo before it is implanted in the uterus. But NTUH isn’t the only facility providing this sort of hi-tech hope to would-be parents.
Several other of Taiwan’s 16 Joint Commission International (JCI)-accredited hospitals operate state-of-the-art clinics offering the full complement of fertility procedures. These include various kinds of fertility drug plans, gamete intra-fallopian transfer (GIFT), embryonic cryopreservation, artificial insemination (AI), and of course different in vitro fertilization (IVF) techniques.
For some people, advanced IVF treatments fall under the umbrella of luxury health tourism, but another great thing about the high-quality fertility centers in Taiwan is the savings. The American Society of Reproductive Medicine puts the average cost of IVF in the USA at over US$12,000. In Taiwan, however, you can expect to pay half that.
The procedures involved during an IVF cycle are generally minimally invasive – even the egg retrieval, after which women may resume normal activities within 24 hours. Better still, for couples looking to relax after this initial step, there is a 3-4 day window when the eggs are fertilized in the lab before being implanted.
And since a penny saved is a penny earned, why not spend a bit of the earnings on a relaxing holiday during the fertilization stage? Should you so choose, you could do a lot worse than Taiwan’s mild winters, exciting cuisine, scenic geography, rich art and architectural history, bustling night markets, and vibrant capital city, Taipei.
Taiwan’s clearly a destination that captures both the “fertility” and “tourism” aspects of the equation, and when you take everything together – the expertise, the savings, and the holiday opportunities – it’s clear why Taiwan is such a popular fertility tourism destination.
After beaches and hinterland, Goa government is now looking at promoting medical tourism, encashing on the state-of-the-art healthcare facilities in the state.
“Medical tourism is an upcoming tourism segment as several super specialty medical facilities are being opened up in the state both by the government and private sector,” Director of Tourism Sanjiv Gauns Dessai told PTI.
“World-class medical facilities, trained professionals and top quality infrastructure ? all this makes Goa the place for medical tourism. The modern medical institutions set up in Goa regularly promote medical tourism and wellness packages. Even the government-run Goa Medical College, offers specialised treatments that attracts patients from all over the world,” he added.
According to Dessai the government ensures that top-class medical facilities and doctors are brought to the state and all credentials are verified and examined before any institution opens up for medical treatments to tourists or general public.
The director said the department has now laid special focus on this segment, which has the potential to increase the footfalls by considerable numbers.
“Goas health sector has been keeping pace with scientific advances to meet the needs of international tourists. The ambitious healthcare programme identifies hospitals that provide modern facilities and in-patient care and service at par with international standards,” he said.
The officer also said the state is poised to become wellness destination.
“One can now choose from many healthcare packages such as dentistry, cardiac care, cosmetic surgery, yoga, complete body heath profile, womens health plan, cancer profile, ayurvedic, homeopathic and others,” he added.
While the state has been attracting investment in the medical tourism sector, Malaysias alternative healthcare centre Chadsha Tri Health is the latest entrant.
“Goa offers certain lifestyle to its inhabitants and travellers. That makes this place the best choice for medical tourism destination and for the investors like us to put in their resources,” said Benjamin Patrick, Founder and Managing Director, Chadsha Tri Health which has recently opened its facility in the state. (MORE) PTI COR NRB ABK
Fertility tourism or reproductive tourism is the practice of traveling to another country for fertility treatments. It may be regarded as a form of medical tourism. The main reasons for fertility tourism are legal prohibitions or regulation of the sought procedure in the home country, the non-availability of a procedure in the home country, as well as lower costs in the destination country. In-vitro fertilization and donor insemination are main procedures sought.
About 20,000 to 25,000 couples annually seek assisted reproductive technology services abroad. Israel is the leading fertility tourism destination for In-vitro fertilization (IVF) procedures, having the highest number of fertility clinics per capita in the world. The United States is chosen by many Europeans because of the higher success rates and lenient regulations.
In turn, India and other Asian countries are the main destinations for U.S. women leaving the country for their fertility care, being the destinations for 40% of U.S. women seeking IVF and 52% seeking IVF with donor eggs. Many travel from countries like Germany and Italy, which are very restrictive of the number of eggs that may be fertilized and how many embryos can be used for implantation or cryopreservation. In recent years, Mexico has become a popular destination for cross border IVF treatment due to its liberal policies on assisted reproductive technology (ART) and egg donation. Even small countries such as Barbados provide JCI-accredited IVF care aimed at patients from abroad. Patients from countries such as the US and the UK also travel to save money on the cost of IVF; IVF treatment and medications can be less expensive abroad. The cost for 1 IVF cycle in the United States averages $15,000, while comparable treatment in Mexico runs $7,800, Thailand $6,500, and India $3,300
An emerging trend within India is a shift from traditional medical destinations to non-metro cities
India is gradually becoming a destination of choice for medical value travel (MVT) due to high quality healthcare offered to patients by world-class hospitals and facilities that have come up across the country.
Globally, MVT is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 17.9 per cent to $32.5 billion by 2019.
However, MVT in India will grow at a CAGR of 30 per cent to $10.6 billion in 2019 from $2.8 billion in 2014, according to a KPMG report
“Aster Medcity in Kochi has seen an exponential increase in medical value tourism with about 17 per cent of our business coming from this segment. This not only brings in incremental foreign exchange for the country but also helps strengthen the positioning of the country as a destination of choice. We expect this trend to increase further,” said Dr.Azad Moopen, Chairman, Aster DM Healthcare.
“In the next 20—40 years, India will become the global hub for medicine and surgery, because we have trained, skilled, super-specialists. The speed with which we receive medical care in our country also plays to our advantage,” said Dr. Rajam Krishnan Iyer, Consultant Pulmonogist.
Traditionally, the U.S., the U.K. and other developed countries have been the largest contributors in terms of medical tourists in India.
However, there is a shift in this trend with patients coming in from the Middle Eastern, SAARC and ASEAN countries. The specialities which are in demand for MVT include cardiology, orthopaedics (hip and knee replacement surgeries) and nephrology where savings for in-bound patients could range from 30 to 70 per cent.
The on-line medical tourism sector is growing on a global scale
With 1.2 million to 1.4 million Americans annually seeking health-care services abroad, the medical sector experienced an average increase of 23% per year in the last decade.
Top medical tourism destinations for people living in the US include: Mexico,
Intensively promoted medical hot-spots are the Bangkok-based Medical Departures and the Cuban medical tourism, with Travelucion covering marketing and communications.
Among globally preferred destinations is Dubai, with a strong network of 26 hospitals, over 1.000 clinics and more than 638.000 medical tourists in 2015 only.
“Every year the number goes up by 12-15%. The medical packages provide for medical insurance to cover any complication or medical liability,” declared Dr Laila Al Marzouqi, head of the Dubai Health Authority’s medical tourism.
The AYUSH sector (Ayurveda, Yogam Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy) has an annual turnover of around INR 120 billion.
Patients from various countries are becoming medical tourists to India for low cost and health restorative alternative treatments. The Medical Tourists undergo health restorative treatments of a combination of Ayurveda, Yoga, acupuncture, herbal oil massage, nature therapies, and some ancient Indian healthcare methods -such as Vedic care, an alternate healthcare service.
Kerela, the state that has emerged as the Ayurveda and Yoga hub in the coutnry, has witnessed average stay back period of tourists going up from 14. 1 to 18 days now, the highest in the country – thanks to Ayurveda and Yoga Tourism. India has lot of tourists from other countries coming for the rejuvenation promised by yoga and Ayurvedic massage.
Marketing Ayurveda as part of the ‘health tourism’ has brought a new definition to vacationing in India itself.