Singapore’s Raffles Medical Group (RMG) will be part of a large scale development in central Osaka, Japan, at a cutting edge clinic designed to attract ‘medical tourists’ from abroad.

Singapore is “far ahead of Japan” in the medical tourism field, according to the Daily Yomiuri. Asian countries from India to Thailand and beyond are eager to develop this lucrative and fast-growing industry, catering to wealthy overseas clients willing to travel to get the best treatment at the most reasonable prices. Japan’s current regulations do not allow foreign trained doctors to examine patients, meaning RMG’s operation will be staffed by Japanese doctors fluent in various foreign languages.

RMG hopes the promise of the latest Japanese medical equipment and facilities will be a strong drawcard, and if successful it hopes to open a full scale international hospital in the country. The Development Bank of Japan estimates a market of 430,000 people for medical tourism in Japan alone, and the Japanese government recently introduced a new class of temporary visa for medical tourists. RMG already operates 70 clinics and hospitals in Singapore, as well as general hospitals in Hong Kong and Shanghai. Medical tourism in Singapore is already well established and RMG has treated over a million patients there, at least a third of whom were not Singapore citizens.

Osaka’s Umeda North Yard is a 24-hectare office and R&D park under development, an unusually large area for one of Japan’s largest and most crowded cities. The first 7-hectare zone will open for business in spring 2013.

source & article: Yomiuri online