The Nonsense of Medical Tourism Market Reports

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Caveat Emptor!

Comes now, the never-ending promotional hype of totally useless, misguided medical tourism market analysis reports. This trend of new market researcher houses preying on “wantrepreneurs” with cash burning a hole in their pocket and a desire to leapfrog ahead of competitors the easy way is actually replacing the attraction of attending the super-saturated phenomenon of medical tourism events, conferences and expos around the world.  Since 2007 the market for these events and their pricey sponsorships, stand rentals, and 20-minute high-level promotional show and tell presentations has grown. 

Facilitators, travel agents, tour operators and other industry stakeholders have conference fatigue. They are conference poor with nothing to show for it.

They cannot continue to travel to these events, pay registration fees, visa and immigration fees, meals at pricey hotel restaurants, pay for baggage to transport attire for gala dinners. Many are unable to carve out huge chunks of each month from family and other obligations to attend pointless business-to-business (B2B) meetings with hospitals and clinics that will not or cannot host inspection visits to complete business transactions. They realize that in order to refer patients, they must personally vet locations, providers and hotels in situ and not rely on Photoshop edited photographs that may not even resemble the hospitals and clinics they spoke with at the events.

Many are further disenchanted by the quality of workshops and proprietary certification courses that bestow dodgy credentials that are rebuked by the market as worthless, if not downright misrepresentative of one’s professional competency earned in three days’ time. The evidence is the abandonment of the certifications due to non-renewal.  If certification made a difference to the certificants’ business success, they wouldn’t dream of allowing it to lapse.

So without repeated attendance at these medical tourism industry events, how could one possibly hope to survive? Comes now, the alternative to event attendance: The PDF-formatted market research reports sold as an e-commerce product. 

  • No hard-copy publishing cost is figured into this product.
  • The editing is 100% desktop published internally without external review.
  • The reports promise “someone’s” analysis of the global medical tourism market by segmentation, regional analysis, leading (unbranded) suppliers and facilities, scope, and applications.
  • The reports cover all the continents except for Antarctica (give it time!) and publish numbers of projected market growth without even so much as a standard for enumeration in place that has been mutually agreed by the stakeholders, worldwide. 

Who publishes these reports? From where has the data been drawn and by whom was it interpreted? What is their competency and who recognizes their expertise? Can they be questioned for clarification? Is this all just generalities like an astrology prediction in the local newspaper read entirely for amusement?

Exactly who do they expect to purchase these reports? And how do we know that they didn’t purchase the one written last month, change a few words and re-release the generalized data in a new layout?

In a recent promotional email addressed to my cat, the promotional hyperbole started with a totally misinformed definition of what is medical tourism. If one cannot get the definition correct, how can the remainder of the information be reliable? It goes on to mention services that are most frequently availed, (also wrong, and with no percentages, utilization incidence frequency or travel routes) which also happen to align with the services featured in the report. How clever and convenient.

Another featured section in the reports are the “key players”. I reviewed the list of key player health facilities, many of which I know their executives personally and believe that they would pay a fee to be included in these “Key Player” lists and blurbs and photo spreads. Some are respectable outlets of inpatient and outpatient care. Others…are not.

As for market segmentation, the promotional piece states that the reports offer all-inclusive segmental analysis of the medical tourism market on the basis of type. It then further supports this statement with the inclusion of only seven specialties, leaving the remaining specialties and sub-specialties unmentioned. 

The price:

A mere USD $4000-7000 for a digital soft copy in PDF.   

Don’t miss your opportunity to own your very own personal copy of this not-to-be-missed data from three to five years in the past. You shouldn’t dream of doing medical tourism business without it!

And be sure to tell your business insurance underwriter and shareholders or hedge fund manager how clever you were that you could simply purchase a report, develop a product and professional service based on an anonymous researchers’ e-commerce products, and then publish a website and start steering patients to hospitals and surgeons for a percentage of the surgery fee as a kickback!   Maybe we’ll see you on the cover of Fortune magazine or the Robb Report in the next year or two! Or being interviewed on Lifestyles of the Daft and Hopeful.


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