The world saw a significant shift in healthcare practices with the advent of the 21st century. With the advancement in technology, several developing countries, including India, have been able to seek and procure the latest in medical equipment.
Such developments have improved India’s healthcare industry, with provision to support its citizens with affordable and high-quality medical assistance.
It has also given rise to medical tourism in India; courtesy skilled staff, top-of-the-line healthcare technology, and affordable pricing. The nation has become one of the premier healthcare destinations in South Asia.
Recent estimates by the Ministry of Tourism show that the medical tourism industry in India is likely to grow by 200% by 2020, exceeding a market presence of approximately Rs.5,66,00 crore.
Such significant growth has been accredited to the number of skilled healthcare professionals as well as the well-equipped facilities and affordable expenses.
Growth of healthcare tourism in India
Currently, 18% of the global healthcare tourism market is contributed by medical tourism in India, with approximately 4.95 lakh treatment seekers visiting the country in 2017 alone.
One of the primary reasons for that is the affordability; several critical medical procedures cost significantly less in India, with expenditures as low as 1/10th of the same in western and European countries.
Such affordability and quality of practice are among the key reasons for the growth of this industry at specific locations across the country.
Importance of medical tourism in India
Medical travel is considered as one of the primary sources of foreign currency in India. The department of Tourism Minister of India declared revenue earnings of approximately Rs.1,77,000 crore in 2017 alone and is predicting a Compound Annual Growth Rate of approximately 15% in the upcoming years.
There are several other points of importance of medical tourism in India that assist in both economy and holistic growth. Let’s take a look at some of them.
- Promoting economic growth –
Currently, there are 27 healthcare centres in 5 different Tier-1 cities in India that are certified by the National Accreditation Board, and an additional 70 hospitals are waiting for certification for the same.
These institutions cater to thousands of foreign patients every year while providing employment for a substantial number of professionals in this field.
Moreover, thousands of newly graduated professionals start their career and learn essential guidance on medical tourism for doctors from these organisations, which later helps them contribute to the country’s healthcare system as well as medical tourism in India.
- Development of alternative therapies –
There are several alternative modes of healing (like Ayurveda, Yoga, etc.) which are practised in India. These techniques have gained noteworthy significance and acclamations from foreign healthcare research as well over the recent years.
A substantial portion of medical tourism in India revolves around these modes of treatment, often provided as an addendum.
Post-treatment patient care also plays a crucial role in the Indian healthcare tourism industry. There are several hospitals that offer post-treatment recovery facilities to their patients, as well as other third-party organisations that provide similar services.
Moreover, the easy availability of credits helps healthcare professionals manage all the finances involved to set up a medical facility and offer quality service to their clientele.
- Introduction of latest technologies –
India’s healthcare system is continuously adopting the latest in medical technology as a means to provide better healthcare to her citizens and foreigners coming for medical tourism in India.
The emergence of nanotechnology in India, implementation of the latest procedures in cosmetic, cardiac, and organ-related surgeries, and the highest quality training provided to medical practitioners have become necessary with the growth of the Indian healthcare industry.
Availability of credit has also helped professionals offer better service to patients. Medical practitioners can avail credits like a loan for doctors to improve the infrastructure of their existing healthcare setup, procure better equipment, or hire skilled employees.
Medical tourism in India has been one of the key drivers in finance as well as employment. With recent development in technology, training, and international relationship, it is likely to improve even further in upcoming years.