Prospects of Medical Tourism Industry in India

A decade ago, people suffering from medical problems used to travel to U.S.A. to get best-in-class treatment. But, over the years, the spiraling costs of healthcare in U.S.A. have made people look for newer havens for medical tourism, and India has emerged as the frontrunner in this field. It is estimated that an operation costs 1/5th in India than in U.S.A. and Britain, and the doctors and surgeons are deemed highly qualified, knowledgeable and skilled all over the world. It is said that the medical tourism industry of India will grow at a rate of 30% annually, and will be generating US$ 2 Billion by 2012.

In India, Chennai is said to be the capital of this revolution, even as cities like Mumbai, Delhi – NCR and Ahmadabad are revamping themselves and getting state of the art infrastructures. The expertise of Indian doctors and surgeons is in the treatments of cardiac, neuro, orthopedics, eye care, dental, cosmetic and all forms of surgeries. Reputed medical institutions like Medanta Medicity, Max Healthcare, Apollo Hospitals, Fortis Healthcare and Sir Ganga Ram Hospital are leading in this aspect. Apart from these, the governments of these cities aim to set up Health Care Facilitators (HCFs), which can provide requisite value added services to the people who come to India for medical treatments and their entourage.

Previously, more than 4,500,000 people travelled to India yearly to seek as medical treatment, therefore the prospects of employment in this field are tremendous. Till now, the complete potential of this industry has not been tapped, and it is important to do so, since Thailand, Singapore etc. are making efforts towards the same. With proper planning and implementation, the potential of this field can be realized by the Ministry of Tourism, Govt. of India and its partners. A point to be noted is that the expenses incurred by travelers include the treatment, accommodation and airline expenditure. The total expenditure comes out to just a tiny proportion of the costs paid for the same in developed western countries, which is why foreigners are coming to India in hordes.

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