Medical Tourism & International patients
The Indian healthcare market is Rs. 15 billion and growing at over 30% every year. Indian private hospitals are increasingly finding a mention in the travel itineraries of foreigners, with the trend of medical tourism catching up in the country. If industry estimates are to be believed, the size of the medical tourism industry stands at Rs 1,200 – Rs 1,500 crore (Rs. 12-15 billion). This is a huge, untapped market, not just for therapeutic medical tourism like ayurveda, but also for curative treatment. India can lead the world in medical and health tourism since we have a tremendous advantage with a large pool of skilled manpower and technological edge.
India as a Destination For Medical Tourism
The countries where medical tourism is being actively promoted include Greece, South Africa, Jordan, India, Malaysia, Philippines and Singapore. India is a recent entrant into medical tourism. The Indian government predicts that India’s $17-billion-a-year health-care industry could grow 13 per cent in each of the next six years, boosted by medical tourism, which industry watchers say is growing at 30 per cent annually. Price advantage is a major selling point. The slogan, thus is, “First World treatment’ at Third World prices”.
The cost differential across the board is huge: only a tenth and sometimes even a sixteenth of the cost in the West. India has a lot of hospitals offering world class treatments in nearly every medical sector. For long promoted for its cultural and scenic beauty, India is now being put up on international map as a heaven for those seeking quality and affordable healthcare. As Indian corporate hospitals are on par, if not better than the best hospitals in Thailand, Singapore, etc there is scope for improvement, and the country is becoming a preferred medical destination. In addition to the increasingly top class medical care, a big draw for foreign patients is also the very minimal or hardly any wait list as is common in European or American hospitals.