medical tourism in India

How will the Indian Medical Tourism Industry Meet its Growing Demands?

Medical tourism in India is one of the fastest growing industries in India that had a market size of $3 billion back in 2015. It is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 15% to become an $8 billion industry by 2010.

Around 4.95 Lakh foreign nationals came to India back in 2017 as part of medical tourism, formally known as medical value travel (MVT). Bangladesh and Afghanistan with 2.2 Lakh and 56,000 nationals were the two countries with the highest number of such visitors.

Other countries in the list of medical travellers to India include Saudi Arabia, Tanzania, Iraq, Uzbekistan, Maldives, Oman, Sudan, Yemen, Nigeria, and Kenya.

Read on for a proper doctor’s guide on Indian medical tourism and everything you may not know about it.

  1. Considerably low treatment expenses

CNN estimates that the cost of medical treatment in India can be around 65% to 95% cheaper.

India’s biggest competitor in medical tourism throughout Asia is Thailand, where a heart bypass surgery can cost about $15,000. The same is about $5,000 in India. Such surgery can cost more than $140,000 in the US. According to a study by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and IMS Health, Indian is the leading country for orthopaedic and cardiology treatments.

Harvard Business Review published a study back in 2013 where they found that affordable healthcare medical tourism in India had less to do with the remuneration of medical professionals. Instead, it had more to do with efficient medical planning that helps in optimising the use of the latest instruments and experience thereby reducing operational costs and increasing productivity.

  1. Adequate medical expertise

Doctors in India have ample training and experience to provide a thorough guide to medical tourism. A majority of them have also studied abroad, especially in countries like the US. These doctors also have strong English-speaking skills making them efficient in communicating with foreign nationals.

Also, several privately operated hospitals have become a brand not only in India but also across international annals. Some of these additional sports associations with healthcare institutions of developed countries to import better medical practices.

  1. Personalised business model

India has a large number of businesses that cater to the MVT market. These have a patient-oriented business model that aims to reduce the hassle and red tape involved in availing healthcare in this country.

Medical travelers not only need to avail medical visa but also accommodation and complicated documentation that requires them to bypass complicated procedures. This problem has given rise to facilitator companies which are helping visitors circumnavigate the same with medical tourism in India.

Facilitator companies help such individuals with travel, accommodation, and all the red tape. These businesses provide value-added services and work as representatives of the medical traveller.

  1. Amenities for foreigners

The Joint Commission International (JCI), a non-profit organisation for patient safety, recognises and accredits 34 hospitals in India able to deliver premier healthcare service to foreign nationals. The majority of these hospitals have international cuisines and translators to benefit tourists even more.

The easy availability of financing is another factor that is helping medical facilities become more welcoming to foreign travellers. NBFCs like Bajaj Finserv provide Loan for Doctors within 24 hours and with a few documents.

The Government’s continuous promotion is also another reason behind the rapid growth of medical tourism in India. The country holds 18% of the global share of MVT. Also, this industry is a prime source of the foreign exchequer, contributing around 1.7 Lakh Crore according to the Niti Aayog.

Indian medical tourism is one of the fastest growing sectors in the global map of medical tourism. It is expected to continue on such a trajectory without fail. If it comes to tourism, one should not forget that India has also occupied one of the best international holiday destinations. It is gaining growth in this industry day by day.

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