BMI Healthcare has released new figures revealing its hospitals continue to attract international patients, despite the ongoing economic downturn. The global healthcare market is currently worth US$100 billion and is set to increase to $130 billion by 2015, according to the global consultancy firm, KPMG.
Over the past year BMI, the UK’s biggest private insurer, has seen a 372% increase in international self-pay patients in its hospitals. While embassy patients have increased 22% over the same period. “The UK is an attractive option for people looking for healthcare in the global marketplace,” BMI Healthcare’s International Director Alaana Woods remarked.
“The UK is a magnet for the brightest medical consultants and patients are naturally drawn here by this expertise and by the availability of latest treatments, advanced infrastructure and modern healthcare facilities, which are often not fully developed in their countries of residence.”
BMI’s healthcare market is broadly divided into three groups, government-sponsored patients, insured patients living or travelling in the UK, and self-paying patients. The majority of patients treated in BMI’s hospitals are government-sponsored individuals from the Gulf countries in the Middle East.
In order to cater for this large market, BMI facilities include multi-faith prayer rooms, religion appropriate foods, media and entertainment, an onsite Arabic speaking representative, and transportation for patients’ families.
“The international market in the UK has shown massive growth in this time as patients travel here for procedures that are unavailable, too expensive or too difficult to access in their home countries. In the next year we expect these figures to continue rising even further as more and more people make informed decisions on their health,” said Woods.