Saudi Arabia has gained a reputation of hair transplant hub lately. Many individuals prefer hair transplant in Saudi Arabia due to availability of highly skilled surgeons and facilities. Saudi Arabia has focused heavily on medical tourism on past four years.
Saudi Arabia is planning to develop a brand which specifies in medical tourism. The five year long plan aims to develop a medical city in Saudi Arabia to provide endless medical services including non surgical hair loss treatments, laser therapies and hair transplant in Saudi Arabia. In order to make this dream a reality, ton of investment from private sector is required. Medical tourism is a relatively new concept that hasn’t been entirely utilized. Once utilized, it will bring clusters of medical tourists that will justify the investment cost.
Medical tourism- the concept
Medical tourism refers to travelling of individuals to another country for getting any medical procedures done. Ideally, people from less developed countries go for their medical procedures to a more developed nation. The important factor which helps determines the number of medical tourist in any area is cost of services for that particular area. Apart from cost factors, some treatments are simply not available in one’s own country or they use outdated technology. Another reason for medical tourism is that some of the treatments are not legal in every country such as fertility treatments of gender transition surgeries.
Medical tourism in Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia has multiple local competitors, specifically Jordan, Korea, Thailand, Philippines and India. Usually Saudi Arabia gets medical tourists usually seeking eye surgeries, pediatric and remedies related to obesity. However Saudi Arabia is seeking to attract medical tourists who wish to undergo hair transplant in Saudi Arabia.
The revival of medical tourism in Saudi Arabia would be much more efficient if public and private sectors will begin working together on medical tourism. The main hindrance in the way of cultural and medical tourism is potential inbound for tourism. Local culture itself may not cause any problems for Gulf State but those with westernized ideals can be put off.
Process of medical tourism
The process of medical tourism progresses as follows: An individual who wants to seek medical tourism has to contact a medical tourism provider. The commonly used term for medical tourism provider is facilitator. The facilitator will ask the patient to provide following documents: a medical report, opinion of the initial doctor, medical history, and additional information like x-rays and blood tests. A patient might be required to pay in advance for the treatment. The facilitator based on your information will contact the adequate surgeon, will fix an appointment and will tell you the approximate length of the procedure. Facilitator will arrange for everything ranging from your stay at hotel, to tickets and transport. It will be a complete touristy experience with added downtime of surgery as a side effect.