2 min read
25 May 2021

Medical tourism in India

According to the Medical Tourism Market Report, India is the most prominent destination due to highest quality treatment provided at the lowest cost. In Oct 2015, the value of Indian medical tourism was estimated to be $ 3 billion, and expected to reach $ 7 -8 billion by 2020. As per the CII-Grant Thornton report released in October-2015, 34% of medical tourist are from Bangladesh and Afghanistan, 30 % are from Russia and Commonwealth of Independent States, and the remaining are from Africa and the Middle East. The number of medical tourists to India is described in the following table:

Year Number of medical tourists
2012 171,021
2013 236,898
2014 184,298


The way forward for medical professionals

For medical tourism to have a major impact, healthcare providers must invest in an active social media profile, a well-maintained website and a blog. Collaborating with travel agencies, five-star hotels, and other hospitality service providers will help to ensure comfort to international tourists in every aspect by taking care of their end-to-end requirements. Investment in technology, security and translators is essential to make Indian healthcare become world-class. Loans for Doctors are customized financing solutions that help you make the necessary investment and cash on the booming medical tourism market.

Factors attracting medical tourist to India

Medical tourism is growing by 30% each year. Chennai is named the “Health capital of India”, as it attracts 45% of medical tourist due to the number of multi and super-speciality hospitals. It is estimated that Chennai has approximately 150 international patients every day. The various factors which attract medical tourists to India are:

1. Cost

India provides the highest quality healthcare at the lowest price. The cost of treatment in India is one-tenth the cost of the same treatment in the US/UK. For example, a Heart Bypass cost approximately $ 123,000 in the US, whereas in India, it costs roughly $ 7900.

2. Quality

India provides treatment of high quality using the latest technology and technique. India has 28 JCI accredited hospitals.

3. Waiting time

In developed countries like the US, UK, and Canada's patients have to wait for major surgeries. India has no waiting time or very little waiting time for surgeries.

4. Language

Despite linguistic diversity in India, English is an official language. Due to which communication becomes easy with foreign patients as it is an international language.

5. Travel

The government of India, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and the Ministry of Tourism are working hard to make India a more prominent medical destination. For this purpose, a medical visa (M-visa) has been introduced, which allows a medical tourist to be in India for a specific period. A visa on arrival is granted for citizens from a few countries, letting them stay in India for 30 days.

How to attract medical tourists and the cost involved

The cost of hosting an international patient depends upon factors like the medical intervention needed, hospital and physician selected for it and duration of stay. Medical tourism is a competitive sector. A few things need to be done to attract medical students:

1. Invest in technology

Medical tourists get attracted to world-class healthcare facilities. You need to invest wisely in providing the best practices and facilities. The cost for it depends on the type of facility offered. For increasing accessibility, create an app for your hospital or clinic; it will cost approximately 5 lakh.

2. Have a strong online presence

Online marketing is essential in medical tourism. You need to maintain a user-friendly and easy-to-understand website and blog. The cost of maintaining a CMS website is approximately 15,000 rupees and a blog page will cost you approximately 500 rupees per year for a domain name and hosting. Answer queries; keep live chat option to be accessible all time. Live chat cost approximately 1200 rupees per month. Be active on social media like Facebook, LinkedIn etc. Facebook has an option of promoting a page, and it can cost you 17.44 to 36.8 rupees per like.

3. Collaborate

Medical tourism is a team effort. You need to invest in collaborating with hospitality partners, representatives of the international health officials, etc.

Additional service to attract medical tourists

Apart from quality healthcare, medical tourists should provide other services to make their travel and stay comfortable. Additional services to be provided for medical tourists are:

1. Quotation assistance

The quotation is a primary concern for a medical tourist. Physicians should make an approximate quotation based upon the medical intervention and hospital stay required.

2. Visa Assistance

A visa invitation letter is required to apply for a medical visa to India. Upon receiving the required details, such as passport number, visa invitation letter should be issued for prospective foreign patient.

3. Collaborate

Medical tourism is a team effort. You need to invest in collaborating with hospitality partners, representatives of the international health offices, etc.

4. Accommodation service

Comfort is essential, invest in it. Rooms for international patients should be spacious and have 24*7 room service, laundry service, internet, AC, TV, and meals facility. Collaborate with a travel agency, five-star hotels, guest house, etc., to ensure comfort.

5. Interpretation service

The staff hired for international patients should be fluent in speaking English. In the case of non-English speaking patients, translators should be hired. Payscale for translators is approximately 4.2 lakh p.a.

6. Security service

Safety cannot be compromised. Sufficient investment must be done for hiring efficient manpower and using the latest technology.

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