Medical tourism, an advantage to India
Date: 31 Mar 2016
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A CII-McKinsey report says that by 2012, medical tourism can alone contribute up to Rs 10,000 crore additional revenue to up market tertiary hospitals and will account for 3 to 5 per cent of the total healthcare delivery market.
Industry estimates show that the size of the medical tourism industry stands between Rs 1,200 crore and Rs 1,500 crore and is growing at the rate of 30 per cent.
The main demand for medical tourism is most likely to come from among the 20 million-strong Indian diaspora.
The maximum inflow of health tourists is from Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
A large number of medical tourists now also come from the Gulf countries and Africa.
The inflow of health tourists from the West, especially the UK, US and some of the European countries, has been on the rise for the last couple of years. Price difference or affordability of the treatment, coupled with quality of doctors, are the main reasons for the growing western traffic.
India gets around 70,000 visitors annually from the Gulf region. After the September 11 attacks, Arabs are avoiding going to the US and Europe. This factor has also helped increase the number of tourists from the Middle East.
The quality of Indian hospitals has improved significantly and now matches with the best in any part of the world. India has at least 100 healthcare institutions which are of world standard.
The treatments in great demand include neuro, cardiac ailment, cancer, paediatric care and joint replacement techniques.
Tourists from abroad also visit India for alternative treatments like Ayurveda, Yoga, Kairali, etc.
The cost of a heart surgery is approximately $70,000 abroad, mainly in the West, while it is $1,500 in India.
A knee joint replacement costs about Rs 2.50 lakh in India, whereas in the UK, a similar surgery using the same implants and medical consumables costs around 10,000 pounds (approximately Rs 8 lakh).
The major Indian health destinations are Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai and Thiruvantapuram.
Cost of angioplasty is almost one-third less in India as compared to the United States and Europe.