With over half a million outbound medical travellers a year spending over USD10 bn on treatment and travel, China's medical tourism market is potentially highly lucrative for hospitals, clinics and facilitators in Southeast Asia, Europe and the US. However, the market is complex and multifaceted, and it is essential to target carefully selected segments with a cogent value proposition, and to work with appropriate channel partners or marketing partners if opting to go direct-to-patient. 

GGM's 2018 China Outbound Medical Tourism market intelligence service gives you a detailed understanding of the business opportunities, market perceptions and potential partners in China who can provide a suitable flow of patients.  Request details


Chinese patient Western hospital med tourism (c)DrPrem

Image: (c) Dr Prem

Age, wealth and lifestyle diseases are behind a boom in medical tourists from China. There will be over 108 mn more urban Chinese aged 40-64 in 2024 than in 2014, and 57 mn more aged 65+. As these groups suffer increasingly from lifestyle diseases, many of them will seek treatment internationally. This is the biggest new wave in medical tourism ever seen and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for international healthcare providers to build the foundations of their China entry strategy

The vast majority of Chinese outbound patients go to Asian destinations, notably Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Thailand and Malaysia. Meanwhile, the US, Japan, Germany the UK and Singapore are seen as the pinnacle of quality for treatment of life-threatening diseases such as neurological and cardiovascular diseases and cancer.  

Chinese middle class big business for overseas healthcare providers (c) Visual China

Image: (c) Visual China

Cost does not usually concern the ‘China USD millionaires’ - of whom there are over 1 million - whose only concern is availing themselves or their loved ones of the best possible care and medical outcome. Aside from quality of treatment, paying attention to the continuum of care once the patient is back in China, is another critical success factor. 

Our research indicates the number of outbound medical tourists from China will approach 900,000 by 2020. The majority of medical travel is for relatively minor treatment such as cosmetic surgery, health checks and wellness programs. However by 2020 we are forecasting almost 100,000 patients will travel for more high acuity treatment, notably cardiology, oncology and neurology programs, but also fertility treatment, OBGYN, joint replacement, ophthalmology and a wide variety of other procedures.

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This market intelligence service provides data and analysis on market demand and drivers, with forecasts to 2020, to help you evaluate the opportunity. Our referrer survey generates insights into market perceptions to inform your value proposition. And our identification and evaluation of potential partners in China including hospitals, medical tourism agencies and travel platforms helps prioritise your go-to-market options. 


Service coverage

Clients may subscribe to one or more modules:

  • Market Profile: Macro situation; Medical tourism market structure; Market demand and potential; Opportunity recommendations
  • Referrer Insights: Referral routes and patient paths; Referrer perceptions; Patient expectations; Positioning strategy recommendations
  • Partner Screening: Partner shortlisting; Hospital profiles; Medical tourism agency profiles; Partner mapping; Partner recommendations and introductions

Market breakdowns

National and regional market data: 

  • Payers: Self-pay; insurance; government
  • Care setting: Out-patient; in-patient
  • Patient segments: Age groups; socio-economic groups; origin locations
  • Destinations: By country
  • Therapeutic areas: List of focus procedures to be agreed with each client, eg. Cardiac, Cosmetic, Dental, Dermatology, Fertility/IVF, Immunotherapy, Maternity, Neurology, Oncology, Ophthalmology, Orthopaedics, Paediatrics, Transplant, etc.

Research methodology

The research and analysis is based on primary research by our in-country consultants, targeting referring doctors, hospital management, medical tourism agencies, travel platforms, insurers and others. This research is supported by exhaustive public domain research using Chinese and destination country sources in local languages and English. 


  • PDF reports 
  • Customised market opportunity and strategy recommendations
  • Presentation, Q&A and follow-up consultations 
  • Introductions to potential partners
  • Webinars 


 Request details


Contact us before 31-Dec-18 and have the option to include private custom research topics, using our research program to answer your questions about the market.


Visit our Healthcare Practice to see our track record in this area: 

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