India is becoming a hot destination for medical tourism. In 2015, October, the medical tourism sector of India was worth US $3 billion. This figure is expected to grow to around $8 billion by 2020.
There are various reasons for which the influx of medical tourists in India is booming. Some of them are as follows:
- Savings in cost: when compared to cost of treatment in the developed world, it is much lower in India. In fact, cost of treatment in India is much lower than anywhere else in the world. All types of treatment are lower by 50 to 80%, anywhere in US, Europe and Oceania. This makes for popularity of medical tourism destinations in India.
- Top class doctors: Not only are hospitals in India featuring world class facilities, they are staffed by the most qualified and professional doctors in the world. Meticulous training has been provided to nurses, doctors and physicians and many of them are involved in research at the top most medical institutions in the world. Some of them are leaders in their area of specialty. Many of India’s doctors are visiting consultants in leading hospitals and medical institutions in US and Europe. Many have got international certifications thus ensuring expertise and precision of care. They are in sync with latest international developments in the world of medicine.
- Hospital facilities that are internationally accredited:The medical facilities in India boast of over 21 JCI accredited hospitals, over 266 NABH accredited hospitals and many more ISO certified hospitals. Many hospitals have subjected themselves to strict certification and accreditation by world class organizationsto evaluate quality of facilities and patient care. These voluntary efforts by most hospitals reflect their commitment to patients and staff.
- Lack of waiting list: One of the biggest advantages of getting medical treatment in India is the easy way in which one can arrange appointments with doctors. Indian hospitals do not have long waiting lists for treatment. They have innumerable operating theatres and sufficient qualified surgeons to offer a patient friendly service and reducing waiting time for even invasive procedures. Many medical tourists arriving in India have been faced with long waiting queues for treatment in their home country.
- State of art equipment: Indian hospitals feature state of art, world class infrastructure that helps provide the highest standards of medical care.
- Quality of care:For medical tourists to India, the main task is to find the right hospital-doctor combination. After treatment, patient can recuperate in hospital or a nearby paid accommodation. Some hospitals also provide continued treatment via telemedicine.
- Ease of travel: The Indian government has removed visa restrictions applicable to tourist visas that need a two-month gap in between consecutive travel for Gulf nationals that will result in boosting of medical tourism. For nationals from some countries, the govt provides a visa on arrival scheme which permits them to continue staying in India for a month for medical reasons.
- Language: Despite wide diversity of languages in India, English is spoken widely and is an official language. In some medical tourism friendly hospitals, language translators have been appointed for helping foreign nationals like those from Balkan and African countries.
These are some reasons why medical tourism market in India is booming.