Worldwide healthcare has changed irrevocably. From patient behaviour to modes of consultation, to attitudes and perceptions, the global pandemic has altered the healthcare industry in every country.
Following on from our survey on how COVID-19 has affected medical consultations, Borderless Access explores behaviour around medical travel consultations and investigates whether people are stocking up on medication. Using our extensive healthcare panels, we conducted online research amongst ten countries to explore these themes.
People more likely to consult medics before travelling in future
Globally, 44% of people still believe they will travel in 2020. This is very strongly driven by both Middle Eastern markets included in the survey, namely the UAE and Saudi Arabia.
However, irrespective of how soon they plan to travel, 50% of people are likely to take medical consultation before travelling, going forward. Emiratis are much more likely to take medical travel consultation compared to Saudis.
The most common reason for medical travel consultations will be for general health check-ups and full body checks. Some patients will consult to get vaccines or anti-flu medication much more now than ever. Saudis are less likely than the average to consult medical professionals prior to their travel, for vaccinations.
Over two-thirds of people plan to get the pneumococcal vaccine
Although the results are not yet conclusive, there is a belief that the pneumococcal vaccine may help to prevent secondary infections resulting due to COVID-19. Overall, we found that 25% of people have had the vaccination since the crisis emerged, and 37% plan to have it in future.
Since the beginning of the outbreak, approximately half of consumers have stocked up on medication, the majority of this being over-the-counter and prescribed medications. People also stocked up on medication for their children as well as for immunity boosters.
Consumers in Saudi Arabia and the UAE have stocked up on medical supplies, more than we saw them doing on other categories in our COVID-19 report.
Pharmacies remain the primary location to purchase medication
Neighbourhood pharmacies remain the most popular choice for purchasing medical supplies. Hospitals remain a prevalent location for the purchase of medication, in both Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
The country of origin of medication is becoming a more prevalent fact in the minds of consumers. 54% of people are paying more attention now and would continue to do so in the future. This trend is strongly driven by Emiratis, and less so by Saudis.
Opportunities for medical professionals and retailers
The findings of this research present opportunities for medical professionals to offer comprehensive travel medical consultations – especially digitally, as we saw in our previous article. It also speaks to the medical retail sector, which can explore ways to leverage online and phone-based purchases. Globally countries need to be aware of concerns arising around the origin of medication, and the need to address this accordingly.
As the new world unfolds, Borderless Access can continue to uncover insights and help you to track your market data, using our extensive panels across all sectors including healthcare. For more information or to discuss how we can help you to collect your data digitally, please contact us.
To read our global report, please request it here.