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Future Scope of Medical Tourism in India

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Surjeet Thakur

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medical-tourism-indiaFuture Scope of Medical Tourism in India – India is perceived as one of the fastest growing medical tourism destination. In the recent years, government support, low cost, improved healthcare infrastructure, and its rich cultural heritage, have taken the Indian medical tourism to the new heights. Overall, its emergence as one of the world’s most cost-efficient medical tourism destination has helped India to attain a position among the global leaders.

India is a good location to receive medical treatments and considered a leader in promoting medical tourism. At an approximate growth of 30% each year, studies conducted by government and private sectors in India estimate that medical tourism could bring between $1-$2 billion US into India by 2012.

Must Read: Digital Marketing Service for Medical Tourism

Tourism is traveling for predominantly recreational or leisure purposes or the provision of services to support this leisure travel. The World Tourism Organization defines tourists as people who “travel to and stay in places outside their usual environment for not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business and other purposes not related to the exercise of an activity remunerated from within the place visited”.

Globally, Tourism has become a popular global leisure activity. In 2006, there were over 842 million international tourist arrivals. 

Future Scope of Medical Tourism in India

The Indian healthcare industry is growing rapidly and is expected to become a $280 billion (more than ₹17 lakh crore)industry by 2020. Rise in income standards and an increase in older population, shifting demographics, disease variations and the explosion of lifestyle diseases in India are a few factors that are feeding this growth.

Must Read: Digital Marketing strategies for cosmetic surgery

Compared to other medical tourism destinations, India will inevitably take a lead, essentially due to the cost effectiveness of treatment available in this country. For example, a patient from UK who plans to travel to a medical tourism destination has more chances of saving better if he/she decides to visit India than say, its competitor Thailand.

As of today, there is almost a difference of $1,000-2,000 between India’s and Thailand’s medical procedures like bone marrow transplant, heart transplant surgery, knee replacement surgery or even cosmetic body contouring.

Medical Tourism in India

Medical Tourism is considered to be India’s next crown jewel. India is becoming number one tourist destination for their medical treatment. Tourists come to India for economic reasons and also the market of India attracts the tourists. Treatment in India is far more affordable then foreign countries. Also government of India provides some medical insurance which helps the patients to cure their diseases at easier price. India is continuously improving its services in the field of medical. It has world class doctors, world class hospitals and a good and caring staff. Also there is no racial discrimination in India so black people feels comfortable during their treatment in India.

More than 170,000 patients around the world travel to India as Medical tourists. This trend is increasing due to the fact we have more than 22 JCI accredited hospitals. India also caters patients from life threatening ailments including organ transplants, heart surgeries, cancer treatment and spine and neuro surgeries.

India is growing as a popular Medical tourism destination as it has tens of thousands of skilled physicians and nurse practitioners. “ver the last t’o decades, the economic boom in Indiahas led to the building of medical facilities and infrastructure that rival the very best that ‘esternmedical care that the ‘est has to offer

  • Cosmetic surgery (breast, face, liposuction)
  • Dentistry (cosmetic and reconstruction)
  • Cardiology Lcardiac surgery (by pass, valve replacement)
  • Orthopaedic surgery (hip replacement, resurfacing, knee replacement, @oint surgery)
  • Bariatric surgery (gastric by pass, gastric banding)
  • Fertility Lreproductive system (IF, gender reassignment)
  • Organ, cell and tissue transplantation (organ transplantationN stem cell)
  • Eye surgery
  • Diagnostics and check ups

India is one of the world’s leading medical tourism destinations. With the ability to offer first world healthcare facilities at third world prices, it is no wonder that thousands of foreigners flock to India to seek medical care. The International Business Times reports that around 500,000 people are expected to travel to India for medical treatment, compared to 150,000 in 2002. To cater to the burgeoning number of foreign patients, India has dedicated itself to establishing state-of-the-art healthcare facilities.

India’s medical tourism advantage

statistics of Digital Marketing in Medical Tourism Healthcare

  • Over 40% of consumers say that information found through social media affects the way they deal with their health 
  • People in the age group of 18 to 24-year-olds are more than 2 times likely than 45 to 54-year-olds to discuss health-related things on social media.
  • 90% of respondents, aged from18-24 years said they would trust medical information shared people on their social media networks
  • 19% of owners of a smartphone have at least one health app on their phone. The most popular types are weight, diet, and exercise apps
  • According to MedTechMedia, 31% of healthcare professionals use social media for professional networking.
  •  About 60% of the doctors say social media improves the quality of care delivered to patients.
  • Google’s Think Insights has shows 119% year-over-year increase in YouTube traffic to hospital sites.

Medical Treatment Package India / USA

Cosmetic Surgery No of Ward days Procedure Cost (USD) Procedure Cost (INR)
Brow / Blepheroplasty 2 2700 162000
Facelift 2 3200 192000
Breast Lift with Augmentation 1 4200 252000
Breast Reduction 1 4200 252000
Tummy Tuck 1 4800 288000
Hymenoplasty 1 950 57000
Vaginoplasty 1 1250 75000
Labioplasty 1 1550 93000
Calf Augmentation 1 3100 186000
Arm Lift 1 2500 150000
Male Breast Reduction in India 1 1700 102000
Hair Transplantation Surgery Depends upon the treatment 1n $ per follicle
Ear Reshaping/ Otoplsty 1 1600 96000
Cheek Augmentation Surgery 1 2350 141000
Chin Implant surgery 1 1700 102000
Vaser Lipo – Major 1 2711 162660
Vaser Lipo – Medium 1 2380 142800
Vaser Lipo – Minor 1 1815 108900

What makes it so attractive

Foremost is the cost factor. The medical costs in India are one-tenth of the costs in western countries. For instance, a heart surgery costs $6,000 in India as against $30,000 in the US. Similarly, a bone marrow transplant costs $26,000 in India as compared to $ 2, 50,000 in the US. Secondly, foreign patients throng Indian hospitals to pass up the long waiting lists and queues in their native countries.

Indian hospitals provide immediate attention to patients rather than asking them to wait for several months like in most western countries. Further, foreign patients need not tackle insurance and national medical systems in India as they have to in their native lands.

India offers the best treatments in modern medicine and in every medical division such as cardiology, orthopedic surgery, eye care, gynecology, cosmetic surgery and dental surgery. It also provides traditional methods of treatment such as Ayurveda, Homeopathy, Naturopathy and Yoga. India’s private hospitals have gained international recognition for their state-of-the-art facilities and diagnostic centers besides unsurpassed skills. Their technology and procedures are on par with hospitals in developed nations. Foreign patients can get package deals including flights, transfers, hotels, treatment and post-operative vacation for their medical visits to India.

Many foreign patients prefer to combine their leisure and relaxation visits to India with healthcare. The Government of India has declared that treating of foreign patients is legal. It is encouraging medical tourism in the country by offering tax breaks and export incentives to participating hospitals. In addition, the Government has cleared medical visas.


The medical tourism industry in India is presently earning revenues of $333 million. Encouraged by the incredible pace of growth exhibited by the industry, the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and McKinsey have predicted that the industry will grow to earn additional revenue of $2.2 billion by 2012.

To provide for brighter prospects for the industry, the hospitals can also acquire international accreditation, integrate traditional and clinical treatments and offer end-to-end value added services by tying up with tour operators, airline carriers and hotel companies. Hospitals can also allow foreign patients to pay through credit and ensure proper support services to foreign patients after they return to their native countries.

Lastly, the Government of India can also reinforce its support through quick visa processing, improved flight connectivity and infrastructure development.

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