When thinking about medical tourism involving posh resorts where you can get a complex cardiovascular procedure thrown in the BRIC markets come immediately to mind. And that's for a good reason Brazil, India, and China are all becoming increasingly popular destinations for medical procedures because of low costs, well-trained surgeons (in the urban centers, that is), and the ability for patients to bypass lengthy waiting lists in their own countries. Russia unfortunately will likely continue to lag in this respect as long as corruption in the health care system continues to be a problem. India in particular is growing as a powerhouse in medical tourism the industry is projected to generate as much as $3 billion a year going forward . Brazil, meanwhile, is renowned for tourists coming for cosmetic procedures Brazilians are generally very aesthetically conscious and there are therefore a high number of medical spas and other treatment centers in the country. This is likely to help spur the strong medical procedure volume growth expected in these countries over the forecast period.

Nonetheless, the eastern European countries cannot be overlooked. In MRG's most recent European Markets for Dental Implants report, it was found that not only were the eastern European countries going to benefit from dental tourism, but tourism to these countries was in fact going to negatively impact the markets in the big 5 European countries. This is partially due to the fact that the European countries are relatively close together it's not a big deal for a German to hop over to Poland or Hungary for a quick dental implant. Some of these countries are even creating package deals involving sightseeing to make having the procedure done in a foreign country more appealing. Spain has also been showing potential, with some patients coming to the country to have spinal implant procedures done due to the lower costs.

When it comes to spinal nonfusion technologies, however, MRG has found that medical tourism is booming in Germany typically the largest of the European markets. This is likely due to the fact that most procedures have become available in Germany before the rest of Europe, and high rates of tourism might therefore die off as the devices are launched in the other countries.

In any event, this is definitely an area worthy of more investigation so companies are better able to identify target markets particularly in Europe, where the smaller countries are often overlooked.

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