Bangladesh is a key source market of medical travellers. Some countries largely depend on it for international patients and are busy rebuilding their marketing activities, targeting Bangladesh’s rising mid-income sector, says Ian Youngman.
To deal with the growing demand from Bangladesh’s rising mid-income sector, some hospitals in India, Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia have either opened liaison offices or appointed consultants in Bangladesh.
After a two-year absence, medical tourism conferences and exhibitions are also returning including the 11th Meditex Bangladesh and the International Health Tourism and Services Expo.
Although actual figures are absent, local and Indian agencies claim that on average 1,000 Bangladeshis go to India daily for treatment.
On the basis that many Bangladeshis are unaware of the hospitals and doctors they need to meet in India for treatment, Indian medical tourism agency VAP Global recently opened an office in Dhaka to provide information and connections with 80 hospitals in India. It says 100 people now visit the Dhaka office every day.
Apollo Hospitals of India has also opened an office in Dhaka to provide services to Bangladeshi patients who want to go to its medical institute in Chennai. It claims that 150 potential patients go to their office every day for information about treatment and physicians in India.
A recent report on health services found that one in every three foreign patients in Indian hospitals hailed from Bangladesh. NCH Consumer Healthcare claims that Bangladeshis going to Malaysia for treatment is a new trend, and that medical costs in Malaysia are cheaper than that of Thailand and Singapore.
Mid-income patients from Bangladesh prefer India and higher mid-income people prefer Thailand and Singapore.