Over the last decade, the medical tourism industry has grown at double-digit rates. Spurred by the rising costs of adequate healthcare in the West, a series of high-quality international hospitals have seen their bookings more than double as residents of the United Kingdom, the United States, and other major population centres such as Australia search for safe, reliable, and affordable care.
But it’s not just medical tourism that’s moving overseas – it’s ‘fertility tourism’. The latest boom in international medicine has seen a growing number of UK and US-based couples travel overseas in search of reliable fertility treatment. It’s set to become a multi-billion dollar annual industry and, if it survives the PR onslaught many Western hospitals are preparing, a revolutionary health leader.
Spain is one of the world’s most popular fertility tourism destinations – a vibrant country with one of Europe’s most reliable health systems. Due to the prevalence of clinics and the high prices given to egg donors (many are paid over €900 for their eggs), the country is Europe’s most visible centre for fertility treatment, hormonal medicine and artificial conception.
The fertility tourism industry represents a chance not only to conceive, but to do so at a significant discount when compared to the options available in Britain. The cost of treatment in the UK tends to exceed £20,000 – a fee that’s often given for surgical procedures that don’t guarantee fertility or hormonal stability. Going overseas represents a financial saving and an increase in clinic quality.
While it seems unlikely that the industry will grow to the size of the medical tourism industry, it’s likely to become a major healthcare playing piece over the next decade. The medical tourism world has grown dramatically in the last five years, with more ultra-luxury hospitals appearing in nations such as Thailand, Costa Rica, and the United Arab Emirates.