At present, along with the development of economy, tourism has become more and more popular as people tend to spend more of their time and money on traveling to relax after hard-working days.
Medical tourism is a new type of travel which people want to travel for health care and treatment in the countries with developed health care system in the world, especially those who have high income.
Singapore health system is among the best in the world with a team of professionals, skilled doctors and modern equipments. However, Singapore’s population is only 4 million people, for this reason, the number of patients in the country do not meet the new health care system.
Therefore, Singapore’s health service providers are trying their best to find ways to expand the market to the outside, attract international patients for treatment in order to increase incomes, create jobs, and help their professors and doctors constantly improve professional qualifications. In October 2003, the Singapore Tourism Board in collaboration with the Department of Economic Development and Foreign Investment Agency launched an interdisciplinary agency named “Singapore – Medicine”. The purpose of this agency is attracting international visitors for treatment in Singapore to develop the country into a leading medical center in Asia. In 2002, there were 210,000 visitors to Singapore for treatment, a year later, this figure increased by 50%, reached 320,000 arrivals. Currently, Singapore provides the best medical services in the field of organ transplants, cardiac, obstetric, orthopedic, oncology, urology, neurosurgery.
Many large medical corporations providing medical services to foreign patients are Raffles Medical Group, National Healthcare Group and SingHealth. In particular, 34% of Raffles Medical Group customers are international visitors came from Indonesia, Malaysia, Australia, UK and USA. National University Hospital of NHG with modern equipment, great facilities and excellent service as a 5 star hotel normally welcomes 10% international patients every year. Those health care providers and many other ones have contributed a large number of foreign currency and help boost medical travel in Singapore. Although subjected to severe competition from many other countries, Singapore does not set a target of rebate because they know that it is important to maintain the quality and reputable services through the improvement of professional qualifications of doctors and medical application of advanced technology and improve the healthy medical environment.
To combine tourism with treatment, Singapore Tourism Board advocates a combination of medical service providers and travel agents to offer tourism products as package health care. Besides, the Department also promotes the excellent health care services and treatment in Singapore on regional and international market.In fact, many people come to Singapore every year for the purpose of relaxing since it is such a fresh and beautiful country to spend time. However, with medical travel, Singapore surely will attract more and more visitors as they really care about the quality of life.