¨Medical tourism is an important source of revenue
¨The economic value is not only in the direct health budget but also in indirect factors, as foreign patients are often accompanied by family members or friends, who are likely to use facilities such as hotels, restaurants, tourist attractions and tour operators.
¨The numbers of patients from richer nations going abroad for medical treatment is substantial
The annual number of patients travelling from the United Kingdom for this purpose elsewhere in Europe and internationally is estimated by industry sources to be 50 000.
¨Currently, India, Singapore and Thailand and, in the Gulf, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are paying greater attention to medical tourism, increasing their hold on the market in the region.
¨The UAE has achieved notable successes in medical tourism and a documented increase in the number of patients coming from abroad to seek medical treatment.
¨Jordan has gained a reputation in the region for its commitment to offering services for medical tourism in an emerging, strong medical services sector.
¨ According to Jordan's competitiveness report in 2010, medical tourism brings in revenue of US$ 1 billion annually, with a steady increase of about 10% more foreign patients each year.