Medical Tourism in India Touches New Heights

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10/11/2012 | By: Guest Contributor

The thought of a mystical trip to India doesn’t only beacon tourist travelers who wish to see the glorious Taj Mahal but also medical tourists seeking world-class quality treatment for a reduced cost.

India is a mogul player in south east medical tourism market attracting thousands of medical tourist each year to avail of affordable medical care for a wide range of treatments, from plastic surgery India to a life-saving heart surgery procedure, to making dreams of having a baby a reality with Indian IVF clinics.  

These figures are expected to double by the year 2015, jumping to half a million medical tourists annually.

The exponential growth of medical reforms and streamlined health care infrastructure gave the South Eastern country a seal of trust and approval for sound medical care service.    

According to a report by the Delhi-based RNCOS, which specializes in industry intelligence and creative solutions for contemporary business segments, India’s share in the global medical tourism industry will reach around 3% by the end of 2013.

Reproductive treatments in India are booming at the same rate. In 2002, India legalized commercial surrogacy part of a long-term campaign to boost medical tourism. Fertility patient today travel to India in droves from around the world—Europe, Australia, the US and the Middle East.  

India Surrogacy remains affordable in India than in most developed countries, including the US.   

"India has been ranked among the top five destinations for medical tourism," says Rana Kapoor, founder, managing director and CEO of Yes Bank, which has recently done a study on health and wellness tourism in India along with apex chamber of commerce FICCI.

"Medical tourism can be considered one of the rapidly growing industries in the Indian economy on the back of various factors," he says.

India produces the largest number of doctors, nurses and medical staff in the world.  According to Devi Shetty, cardiac surgeon and chairman of Narayana Hrudayalaya Hospitals, “We have been traditionally linked with western health care because of the British influence on our medical education and the ability to speak English.

“This is extremely important for developing [global] health care. Our greatest asset is our ability to produce the largest number of technically-skilled individuals. We also have the largest number of USFDA (U.S. Food and Drugs Administration)-approved drug manufacturing units outside the U.S" Dr. Shetty says.

One country’s recession, another country’s succession! During the last few years, US recession has been driving more patients out of the country for low-cost health care in India. The US outbound medical tourism is projected to increase over the years.  

"India has the highest potential in medical tourism in the world," says Mohit Maheshwari, Assistant Manager at RNCOS.

"Factors such as low cost, scale and range of treatments differentiate it from other medical tourism destinations.”

A well-established health care hub in Asia, India’s economy is the third largest economy in the world, in terms of purchasing power and is going to touch new heights over the next years.

The global investment bank predicted by 2035 India would grow to 60% of size of the US economy.

India ranks high on latest world economic reports, which created a robust business environment for free investment including medical tourism. The country is popular as an outsourcing hub for many US and European countries particularly the IT sector.

India has always been the most preferred destination for major US companies looking to offshore their IT and reduce costs.

Easier Access to Incredible India:

In a bid to make accession to India easier than ever, the Indian government introduced a medical visa scheme, which facilitates visa issuance and expedites application processing time.  

Renowned travel agent Thomas Cook India is launching tailor-made medical tourism packages in association with major Indian hospitals.

By the end of 2012, medical tourists will have a wide range of options to choose from when traveling for medical treatment in India catering to their budget, accommodation and heath care needs.  

India receives numerous patients from the Arabian Peninsula and the Middle East. According to, “The Gulf and the Middle East is an important market for Indian tourism and there is an incessant and positive growth of foreign tourist arrivals from the region over the last 2 to 3 years with the year 2010 having registered a 17 percent growth over the previous year.

The tourist arrivals from countries such as the United Arab Emirates, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Sultanate of Oman, Jordan, Republic of Yemen, and Republic of Turkey have registered positive growth.”

With health care controversies in the US and wait times in Europe are likely to linger in the coming years, hospitals and plastic surgery clinics in India will continue to benefit from the flow of medical patients seeking professional, compassionate and, most importantly, affordable heath care. 


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