Sir, over the past decade dental tourism has become an exceedingly popular phenomenon across South East Asia, in particular in countries such as Cambodia and Thailand.1 It was popularised by individuals looking for dental care outside of their regional healthcare systems coupled with scenic holidays. In countries such as Cambodia treatment options for procedures such as implants, ceramic crowns etc are affordable without compromising on quality.
The pandemic has brought the entire world to a standstill with international travel almost non-existent, impacting dental tourism. In the year preceding the pandemic, global medical tourism was valued at US$44.8 billion and dental tourism formed a vital component.2 Additionally, healthcare delivery shifted to emergency procedures. The financial impact to dental tourism has been dramatic as it is still not possible to predict when patients will be able to travel normally.3 Dental clinics that were thriving on tourists seeking treatment in countries such as Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam have been forced to reduce their staff for the foreseeable future. The effect seems more prominent in SE Asian countries where tourism is a major contributor to the national economy.
Research and Markets. Medical Tourism Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report by Country (Thailand, India, Costa Rica, Mexico, Malaysia, Singapore, Brazil, Colombia, Turkey, Taiwan, South Korea, Spain, Czech Republic), and Segment Forecasts, 2020 - 2027. Available at: https://www.researchandmarkets.com/reports/4753454/medical-tourism-market-size-share-and-trends (accessed March 2021).
Mahmud S. Impact of Corona Virus on the Global Economy. February 2020. Available at: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/339435164 (accessed March 2021).
Karobari M I, Marya A, Venugopal A, Nalabothu P, Parveen A, Noorani T Y. The state of orthodontic practice after the outbreak of COVID-19 in Southeast Asia: the current scenario and future recommendations. Asia Pac J Public Health 2020; 32: 517-518.