India's market for medical tourism is expected to touch the $9 billion mark by 2020, according to a report released by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and Ernst & Young.
As per the report titled ‘India: Building Best Practices in Healthcare Services. The report also noted that the country is one of the preferred destinations for Medical Value Travel (MVT) as it occupies the fifth position among 41 major medical tourism destinations, as per Medical Tourism Index Overall ranking, 2016.
The preferred destination cities for medical tourists arriving are Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, and Kolkata in India. Nearly 27 percent of India's medical tourists head to Maharashtra, out of which 80 percent go to Mumbai. Chennai attracts nearly 15 percent of the incoming foreign patients while Kerala handles around 5 percent to 7 percent.
According to the report, India hosts around five lakh medical value travelers annually from different source countries. Major markets for India are the South-East Asian countries, the Middle-East, Africa and SAARC countries. More than 50 percent of medical travelers coming into India are from Bangladesh.
The number of Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) coming to India on a medical visa has been on the rise over the past few years. The average growth rate has been around 55 percent, and it is expected to be maintained in the coming years.
Affordability of treatment is a key factor that puts India higher up on the list of destination choices among medical tourists. When compared to medical care and treatment in Western countries, people can save up to as much as 50 percent.
The leading authority on global health care practices in India with 38 hospitals qualified by the Joint Commission International (JCI). It also has 619 hospitals accredited by the National Accreditation Board for Hospitals and Healthcare Providers (NABH).
In addition to the above factors, India has a variety of tourist attractions, thereby incentivizing travel for medical care. It thus offers a package which includes quality healthcare services, coupled with the option to explore a variety of tourist spots across the country.
If a patient is seeking treatment in India, he can save a considerable amount against opting for the same medical procedures in developed countries. As mentioned earlier, savings can be as much as 50 percent.