Cutting-edge MedTech: Why Hong Kong is a booming destination for medical tourism

Business News | 19 May |

The cost of healthcare is on the rise, and the quality of care in the US seems to be undergoing a severe downturn. So, it isn’t surprising that patients have started to see traveling abroad to access better and cheaper healthcare as an always more viable alternative.

But, is Hong Kong a destination worth considering? While the region does not always appear among the most popular medical tourism destinations, Hong Kong is certainly establishing itself as an up-and-coming medical hub for international patients – and the adoption of cutting-edge MedTech is fueling this growth!

Here’s what patients looking for world-class medical treatments should know.

Significant Investment in Healthcare Infrastructure and Innovation

Every year, Hong Kong invests a whopping US$22.7 billion in healthcare – or nearly 7% of its GDP – positioning itself among the biggest healthcare spenders in Asia.

What’s more, the region’s approach to healthcare is all but static. For example, just over the past 12 months, Hong Kong allocated nearly half a billion US dollars to the city’s Hospital Authority to meet the rising demand for healthcare services.

This financial strategy is not only allowing the city to provide patients with high-quality care, but it is also ensuring that charges are kept to a minimum.

Even more importantly, Hong Kong is over halfway through the first of its two back-to-back 10-year medical infrastructure development plans, totaling just under $63 billion.

With a population that is both growing and aging rapidly, this strategy will allow Hong Kong’s Hospital Authority to expand and innovate facilities, equipment, and services.

Adoption of State-of-the-Art MedTech and Transparency of Results

In terms of adopting healthcare technology innovations, Hong Kong is among the leading countries for introducing AI, extended reality, advanced telemedicine, and IoT in its healthcare system.

As over 30% of the Hong Kong population is projected to be over 65 by 2036, the current 10-year hospital development plan also involves:

• The creation of over 15,000 new hospital beds and operating theaters

• The construction of an acute general hospital

• The creation of the first neuroscience center in the region

• Strengthened ambulatory services

• Big-data-driven measures for diseases prevention and diagnosis

More Affordable Medical Procedures Without Compromising on Quality

Quality of procedures, equipment, and medical staff make for the most important factors to consider when choosing a medical tourism destination. At the same time, the cost factor isn’t something to overlook.

Indeed, the same surgery or medical procedure, performed upholding the same or higher standards, might come at a fraction of the cost abroad. And, Hong Kong is the perfect example of this.

In the region, a Colonoscopy performed in a private hospital will cost an average of $1,520, while the same operation in the US averages around $3,000.

Additionally, a comprehensive Medical Insurance in Hong Kong does not require patients to afford any out-of-pocket expenses and covers over 90% of a procedure’s cost.

A History of Clinical Excellence and International Accreditation

Throughout recent history, Hong Kong has always stood out for the high standards of medical practice. With over 40 public hospitals and 12 private clinics, the region continues to offer affordable and highly accessible healthcare to each patient.

This, alongside the contributions made to liver transportation innovations and the international medical accreditation awarded by the Australian Council on Healthcare Standards (ACHS), has positioned Hong Kong within the top 20 countries by health index score.

Availability of Internationally-Trained Staff and Tourism Infrastructure

Alongside Chinese, English is one of the two official languages in Hong Kong, facilitating the communication between foreign patients and their health providers.

Additionally, Hong Kong has recently passed a law that allows overseas-trained doctors to practice in the region without having to take a local exam, meaning that some of the world’s best talents will soon be able to work at Hong Kong’s most prominent hospitals and clinics.

What’s more, Hong Kong boasts some of the best tourism infrastructure, hotels, and public transport in Asia, thus making it easier for foreign patients to navigate the city and find relaxation after their medical treatments.

Today, Hong Kong is not often included in the most popular medical tourism destinations alongside countries like Spain or Canada.

However, the recent private and government-sponsored investments in healthcare and MedTech have helped the region overcome the challenges outlined in 2011 and set itself up for a bright future as one of the world’s best medical tourism destinations.

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