India Tourism has been seeing a year on year growth; there has been an increase in domestic travellers as well as foreigners travelling to India. India also attracts patients from several countries for Medical treatments.
Medical tourism or health and wellness tourism refers to the industry where people from across the world travel to other countries to get medical, dental or surgical care and at the same time visit local attractions of that country.
Out of the total Medical tourism across globe approximately 63% is shared between Singapore, Thailand and India with Singapore and Thailand being the leaders in the field.
India has seen a regular growth in Medical tourism traveller’s and from 2013 -2016, the medical visas issued annually has grown from 1.22 lacs to 1.78 lacs.
Following are some of the reasons why people choose India for their treatment:
– World Class facilities and services available in India
– Good qualified doctors
– Cost (Some of the major surgeries in India cost 10-20% of the cost incurred in Western Countries)
– No waiting period for treatments
Some challenges which need to be addressed for patients choosing India as preferred Medical tourism hub
– Improve perception on hygiene and service across the globe
– Ensure quality and service
– Step down facilities for Post Surgical care for recovery. India lacks in centers that can take care of recovery needs post treatments and the patient has to spend more days at a hospital.
– Medical Visa – Procedure to obtain medical visa needs simplification as it can get quite cumbersome as per current regulations
Based on statistics released by the government, Delhi, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu are the top destinations for visitors travelling for Medical tourism. Chennai, Mumbai and Delhi have the large number of quality hospitals and take the maximum share of the pie as of today. These cities have a several hospitals to choose from and offer good connectivity across the globe.
Medical tourism or health and wellness tourism can be divided in to 2 different types:
Curative: This is where the traveller’s come in for specific treatments, a few of the preferred treatments are listed below:
Cardiac Surgeries including bypass surgeries
Knee / Hip Replacement surgeries
Rejuvenation: Traveller’s want to explore the ancient treatments and traditional medicines offered in India and hence they come to India, a few are listed below
Considering that we can excel in various parameters catering to medical tourism, our country has tremendous potential to increase our share in the Medical Tourism segment.
Jay Kantawala, Founder of WIYO Travel says, “Medical tourism in India has been seeing a year on year growth in the past decade and is expected to grow 2 ½ times in the coming 8-10 years and become a US$ 1.6 Billion market in coming decade. This industry will get a boost if Visa process is simplified and simple cross border payments. In addition to this we are seeing Health care institutions opting for certifications for NABH (National Accreditation Board for Hospitals & Healthcare Providers) and JCI (Joint Commission International) accreditations, which help in building trust amongst travelers”.