HealthyIM Identifies Japan As Huge Untapped Medical Tourism Market

HealthyIM survey results point to Japan as a massive potential source of patients for the growing US$60 billion medical tourism industry. Seventy percent report interest in health and wellness travel.

Speaking at Malaysia International Healthcare Travel Expo 2013, founder and CEO Michael Bobrove of Japan-based hospital and clinic search and review portal HealthyIM pointed to Japan as a massive potential source of patients for the medical tourism industry, which has been valued at up to US$60 billion annually.

"To gauge interest in medical tourism, we posed ten questions about the option in an online survey sent to 200 of HealthyIM's registered Japanese users," says Bobrove, who regularly speaks on medical tourism all over the world. "We found that none of the 54 respondents had ever tried medical tourism. And in response to the question, 'Did you know that you can get equal or better healthcare at a lower price outside of Japan?' an overwhelming 74 percent said they had no idea."

When asked if they'd be willing to try medical tourism, 70 percent said yes, citing interest in procedures such as dental implants and whitening, health checks, aesthetics/spa treatments and relaxation procedures. More crucially, 90 percent wanted to hear more about medical tourism.

A 2012 poll of 18,731 adults in 24 countries by global strategic research firm Ipsos Public Affairs found at least a third of consumers in every country were open to the idea of medical tourism, and 18 percent would seriously consider it. "The concept of medical tourism is well accepted in many countries," noted senior vice president Nicolas Boyon of Ipsos in a widely reported November 2012 interview, "with the exception of Japan."

The widespread accessibility of reasonably priced world-class healthcare in Japan and a universal healthcare system that covers everyone for medical and dental care and medication—plus a 30 percent co-pay rate—might suggest no real market exists.

According to Bobrove, however, two major factors indicate otherwise. "The first is that some elective procedures tend to be very pricy when performed within Japan's borders. The second is that the use of some newer technologies is not reimbursed through insurance here. The market is just waiting to be tapped."

HealthyIM provides more details on the survey's findings and medical tourism—including what hospitals and other medical institutions need to do to attract Japanese patients—on its website,

HealthyIM helps internationally minded healthcare and wellness providers promote their expertise to potential customers locally and overseas.

The company provides customized medical tourism consulting and on-line promotion services through This innovative portal site covers 200,000 medical facilities in Japan, Malaysia, South Korea, Thailand and Singapore and is designed to help locals and medical travelers find the right places for diagnosis and treatment.

Founder and CEO Michael Bobrove has spent twenty years as an executive in the medical devices and pharmaceuticals industries in Asia, including positions at Nihon Schering K.K. and Bayer HealthCare, and was the president and representative director of Nihon Medrad K.K. for over fourteen years.

Categories: Exercise and Physical Fitness

Tags: asia, clinics, hospitals, Japan, Korea, malaysia, medical tourism, patient reviews, singapore, thailand, travel, wellness

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