Medical tourism is the term given to the phenomena of people travelling to another country seeking medical treatment. India is among the top three destinations for medical tourism in Asia – along with Thailand and Singapore, it accounted for around 60% of Asian revenue through healthcare in 2012.
Medical tourism is expected to grow in India at a rate of 20% between 2014 and 2018. It is formally a promising sector for India, poised to reach USD 6 billion by the year 2018.
What makes people travel to India for medical treatments?
There are various factors leading to the increased influx of patients from other countries seeking treatment in India. These include:
#1 Quality healthcare at reasonable costs
With state-of the-art hospitals and healthcare technologies available in India at par with those found in developed nations, patients can expect quality healthcare and assistance for their condition.
#2 Savings for the patient
Some of the developed countries like the U.S. require extremely high costs for major procedures like cardiac surgeries, orthopaedic treatments, etc. Coming to India and obtaining the same treatment reduces the patient’s costs by as much as 50%, without compromising on the quality of treatment. With comparatively lower hospital costs, patients visiting India are also able to afford better quality services like extended hospital stay during recovery and rehabilitation, which would otherwise be extremely expensive in their home country.
#3 Bypassing waiting lists
A huge reason why patients from other countries choose medical tourism is the immediate attention to the health concern, where the same may require a long wait in the home country. This is especially true for patients with chronic conditions who have to wait it out with medicines in their country before they get a chance to be operated upon.
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#4 World-class doctors
Most top hospitals in India have physicians and surgeons on their board who have spent a considerable time of their study and/or practice abroad and are in sync with the latest technologies and procedures to be able to provide the same in India.
#5 Customised approach
Hospitals offering medical tourism today have a well-thought out plan for visiting patients, which includes comprehensive services that range from obtaining medical visa, preparing documents, arranging appointments and stay, to facilitating transportation for medical care and even sightseeing.
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“India medical tourism industry to reach $6 billion by 2018: report,” Livemint.com, Moulishree Srivastava, July 24, 2014, http://www.livemint.com/Home-Page/NX5IF0yZtnkCFz4vzxtt5N/India-medical-tourism-industry-to-reach-6-billion-by-2018.html
“International patients – Why India,” Medanta.org, http://www.medanta.org/international_why_india.aspx
“Top 3 medical tourism destinations in Asia,” TimesofIndia.Indiatimes.com, September 1. 2014, http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/business/india-business/India-ranks-among-top-3-medical-tourism-destinations-in-Asia/articleshow/41447360.cms