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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Four Things To Know about India’s next crown jewel, Medical Tourism

India is a huge magnet for attracting foreign patients for medical treatments. With general tourism on the rise, it is estimated that the volume of medical tourists worldwide could reach up to 5 million by 2016, attracting additional visitors to the country.

Medical tourism, more broadly health and wellness tourism, refers to the industry in which people from across the globe travel to other countries to get medical, dental and surgical care, and at the same time, visit the local attractions of that country. I want to share some key highlights of Medical Tourism in India–the next crown jewel–that could shape the future of India’s economy and healthcare.

1) Medical tourism market is estimated to be valued at $ 4 billion. Health care tourism has been a key growth sector for more than a decade. Growing insurance market, strong pharmaceutical industry, cheap international travel, and quality health care are increasingly making India a preferred tourist destination. India hosts about 1.27 million tourists from countries such as the U.S., U.K., and Canada in addition to visitors from neighboring countries like Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and China.

This market includes secondary players from the tourism industry who greatly benefit from visitors to India. The government estimates that the growth of health-related services will be more than 5 percent for the next 10 years should further drive such visitors. Major corporations such as Tata, Fortis, Max, Wockhardt, and Apollo Hospitals have made significant investments in setting up modern hospitals and tourism-related services to cater to the new brand of visitors from abroad.

2) Tourists come to India for economic reasons and market attractiveness. Clearly, there are economic advantages for choosing English-speaking India for certain procedures. For example, a heart bypass procedure costs roughly $140,000 without any insurance in the U.S. The same procedure, however, costs only around $7,000 or Rs 3 lakh at one of India’s leading surgery centres.  Procedures such as hip and knee replacement, face lift, and gastric bypass are far more affordable in India, including the cost of travel and accommodation, compared to the U.S. Moreover, these cosmetic procedures are not covered by most insurance providers in Western countries. India has many top-notch centres for open-heart surgery and paediatric heart surgeries which are equipped with the latest equipment that are on par with these Western countries. India is also acutely aware of the quality perceptions of its visitors; many Indian hospitals that cater to foreign tourists meet the requirements of U.S. health standards like Food and Drug Administration and Joint Commission Accreditation for hospitals, hoping to fight this notion.

India is also home to a number of alternative medicine techniques such as Ayurveda, Sidha, Unani, Yoga, Acupuncture and Homeopathy which are very popular among foreigners. Such treatment opportunities give India the edge over its competitors like Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea, and U.A.E.

3) Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, and Delhi are top destinations for foreign visitors. Based on the government’s statistics of foreign tourists for 2010, more than 55 percent of visitors went to medical centres in these three states alone. Quality hotels, added tourism opportunities, and high-quality hospital care are the biggest reasons for this trend.

Source: Madras School of Economics

4) Infrastructure and better health-related investments will decide the future. While all trends point towards an increasing demand for medical services in India, some key factors will determine whether medical tourism becomes India’s next crown jewel, like our Information Technology industry. Here’s a list of some factors:

  •     Infrastructure investment by the government: The health industry as a whole has seen meager growth as far as infrastructure is concerned. This has been primarily due to investments coming from the private players in the market. The government needs to step in and provide basic infrastructure services which will improve basic access to high quality centres.
  •     Reducing barriers for visiting India for medical purposes: Currently, foreigners need the “M-Visa” to come to India for medical purposes. Obtaining the visa is a huge barrier for medical tourists wanting to come here. India should consider offering visa-on-arrival type of services and partner with medical and tourism providers to streamline administrative processes.
  •     Raise quality standards to meet Western providers: Such partnerships will give confidence to foreign tourists to choose India over competitors like Malaysia and Singapore.
  •     Market health tourism in Western countries: With ever-growing need for cheaper health care  and complex health insurance offerings in the U.S. and U.K., Indian hospitals could target the neglected populations of those countries and draw them here to provide a cheaper alternative. This could be a boon for both the Western economies and India’s.


  • Government of India (2002), National Tourism Policy 2002, Ministry of Tourism, New Delhi.
  • Mckinsey – CII (2002), Healthcare in India – The Road Ahead, Mckinsey & Company, 2002
  • Government of India (2012), Economic Survey 2010-11, Ministry of Finance.
  • “Health Tourism – Destination India”, India Brand Equity Foundation (2011)

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Research and Markets: India Medical Tourism & Forecast to 2018

Indian Medical tourism has emerged as the fastest mounting segment of tourism industry. Bangladesh is the leading source country. Maldives is the second leading market for India medical tourism but its share is continuously declining and it is anticipated that Afghanistan will replace Maldives to capture the second spot in Indian medical tourism market. Russia is one of the emerging source markets for Indian medical tourism market. Nigeria in Africa and Iraq in Middle East holds massive potential for India. Germany, France and Canada medical tourists' numbers are also rising year on year.

"India Medical Tourism & Forecast provides a comprehensive analysis of the India medical tourism market covering in detail various aspects such as Medical Tourists' Arrivals and Medical Tourists Market (spending) from top 63 countries.

This 248 page report with 260 Figures and 3 Tables provides a complete analysis of top 63 countries who visited India for medical treatment. All the 63 countries in the report have been studied from 2 viewpoints.

  •     Medical Tourists Arrivals in India from the year 2009 - 2018
  •     Medical Tourism Market (Spending) in India from the year 2009 - 2018

Key Topics Covered:

1. Executive Summary

2. India Medical Tourist Arrivals & Forecast

3. India Medical Tourism Market & Forecast

4. India Medical Tourism Market Share & Forecast

5. North America - Country Wise Medical Tourist Arrivals, Spending & Forecast

5.2 Canada - Medical Tourist Arrivals, Spending & Forecast

6. Central & South America - Country Wise Medical Tourist Arrivals, Spending & Forecast

7. Western Europe - Country Wise Medical Tourist Arrivals, Spending & Forecast

8. Eastern Europe - Country Wise Medical Tourist Arrivals, Spending & Forecast

9. Africa - Country Wise Medical Tourist Arrivals, Spending & Forecast

10. West Asia - Country Wise Medical Tourist Arrivals, Spending & Forecast

11. South Asia - Country Wise Medical Tourist Arrivals, Spending & Forecast

12. South East Asia- Country Wise Medical Tourist Arrivals, Spending & Forecast

13. East Asia - Country Wise Medical Tourist Arrivals, Spending & Forecast

14. Australasia - Country Wise Medical Tourist Arrivals, Spending & Forecast

15. Other Countries - Medical Tourist Arrivals, Spending & Forecast

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