Medical tourism refers to a situation where an individual travels to another country to receive medical treatment. Previously, this referred to the travel from a less developed country to a country which offers advanced therapy for a medical treatment which is unavailable at their place. However, the present scenario has changed.
India, Brazil, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, South Korea, Turkey, Mexico, Costa Rica, and others are some of the major destinations for medical tourism across the world. Along with the culture, the food, and the weather conditions, India is attracting visitors for the healthcare facilities. The number of medical tourists is increasing in India making it the country with highest growth rate at present.
The Ministry of Tourism, India is thriving to grow the market to reach $9 billion by 2020, which is likely to experience a growth rate of almost 200%. To aid this, India is making it much easier for the foreign patients to travel to India for medical purposes. Together with accessibility to the advanced facilities along with skilled doctors, less treatment cost, and facilities like alternative therapy such as yoga and ayurveda are drawing the attention of international patients.
India can offer medicinal and healthcare facility of high standard and quality at a reasonably low cost. The country was ranked third in 2015 for destination medical treatment with the total worth of $3 billion. A total of 234,000 medical visas were issued to the foreign patients in 2015. This has increased to 495,056 medical visas in 2017.
The government has also changed the visa rules to boost applications. The visa facility has been expanded to include the medical visits additionally. With e-medical visa the maximum period of stay in India is longer than six months. In India the treatment cost is 65%-90% less when compared to the developed nations.
Currently, cardiology and heart surgery, orthopedics, transplant, ophthalmology, wellness and prevention, and alternative medicine are the primary treatment that are highly used in India. But the market for neurology and spine surgery, oncology, dentistry, fertility and reproductive health, and weight loss surgery is still emerging.
– Rikitha K Murthy