Medical Tourism: India – A Preferred Destination

Medical Tourism presents an opportunity for the healthcare sector worldwide to expand and grow by tapping the potential of the international market. The tourists from around the world are traveling to combine affordable medical care with a luxurious vacation. A major percentage of patients in the developed countries are seeking treatment in healthcare institutions outside the boundaries of their nation. The global advancement in medical research and technologies, increased facilities of transportation and demand for immediate quality healthcare have provided the patients worldwide to travel abroad for treatment. Governments of many nations have come forward with assistance to facilitate and encourage the development of the health tourism industry.

India has emerged as one of the leaders in promoting medical tourism. Patients around the world are beginning to realize the potential advancement of modern technologies Indian medicine. The medical procedures in India are inexpensive as compared to that of US and other European nations. The Indian Healthcare industry has realized the potential of this niche market and has begun to tailor their services for international visitors. Medical tourists worldwide have a good cause to seek treatment in India to avail state-of-the-art medical facilities along with an opportunity of visiting the culturally rich nation.

The healthcare-tourism industry has expanded its services with the growing demand around the world. A large number of Europeans are coming to India to get medical treatment, including advanced surgery. Many leading hospitals have expounded on this by branching their medical expertise to super-specialization. International patients usually get a package deal that includes flights, transfers, hotels, treatment and often a post-operative vacation.

India aims to become the global health destination with internationally recognized healthcare professionals, holistic medicinal services and low cost of treatment. India has the potential to provide services to over one million health tourists every year. Medical tourism has given healthy boost to the Indian economy as well. To cater to this opportunity, the Tourism Ministry of India has joined hands with the healthcare sector to provide specialized care for the international patients. The medical tourism industry has the potential to become a major driver of Indian economy like Information Technology.

The concept of priority treatment is becoming popular fast in a majority of Indian hospitals. Indian hospitals excel in cardiology and cardio thoracic surgery, cosmetic surgery, orthopedic surgery, ophthalmology, Bariatric/Obesity Surgery, transplants and urology to name a few. Medical tourists are increasingly resorting to medical treatments in India. Another fact to drive tourists is attraction of the reviving Indian traditional medicines such as yoga, ayurveda and meditation that they receive during their stay.

Medical tourism in India was hardly large enough to be noticed about a decade ago. This year, approximately half a million foreign patients will travel to India for medical care, whereas in 2002, the number was only 150,000. Recent researches and trends guarantee that the market for medical tourism will continue to expand in the years ahead and India will emerge as one of the leading nations specializing in the industry.