A combined study by consultancy firm KPMG and industry body
FICCI says, India ranks among the top three medical tourism destinations in
According to the report titled Medical Value Travel
the medical tourism market in India is projected to hit $3.9 billion mark this
year having grown at a compounded annual growth rate of 27 per cent over the
last three years. The report says inflow of medical tourists is expected to
cross 320 million by 2015 compared with 85 million in 2012.
Treatment cost cheap in India
The study states that the low cost of treatment, quality
health care infrastructure and availability of highly skilled doctors helped
the country to secure the top spot.
The medical tourism industry in India catches maximum patients
for heart surgery, knee transplant, cosmetic surgery and dental care as the
cost of treatment in the country is considered to be the lowest in Asia, much
lower than Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore and Hong Kong, the report
A major competitive advantage India as opposed to other
countries in medical tourism is the cost effectiveness of treatment offered to
"A person coming to India for his/her medical treatment can
have savings anywhere in the range of 30 to 70 per cent. Even if we consider
the ticket expenses and accommodation expenses along with the treatment cost,
the overall expenditure would be lower than the treatment cost in the UK or the
US or many other countries," the study stated.
Amit Mookim, partner and head of healthcare practices, KPMG
India, said "The medical tourism landscape in Asia is continually evolving as
price no longer remains the only important consideration; focus has now shifted
to diversity in offerings, niche offerings and even customised luxury."
He noted that India does face tough competition
the segment from countries like Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore
disadvantage faced by Indian medical tourism industry is the lack of special
visa rules for patients but the country counters this with alternative therapy
offerings like yoga, meditation, ayurveda, and other traditional methods of
treatment that attract tourists from European nations and the Middle East to
Stakeholders urged to consolidate their efforts
The report points out that India has a fragmented approach
where individual hospitals have been promoting themselves as the hospital
destinations. The medical-value-travel stakeholders in India need to
consolidate their efforts and strategise on how to leverage the available opportunities,
The report says that the country needs to work on increasing
efficiency at the immigration to make the travelling experience hassle free for
patients and also better infrastructure in terms of highways and roads would
add to the overall satisfaction of medical tourists.
Affordable hotels, availability of language interpreters are
a few areas, which also need to be given significant consideration to increase
medical tourism in India.