The global medical tourism market is projected to grow from $13.98 billion in 2021 to $53.51 billion in 2028. Some of the leading destinations across the world for medical tourism include Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Turkey, and particularly India—a country where the industry has been significantly gaining momentum over the last decade.
Every year, nearly two million patients cross borders and reach India in search of affordable and efficient medical treatment. As a result, the industry’s annual forex is $4 billion each year.
That brings us to the question—what is the Indian healthcare industry doing differently to draw so many patients from abroad.
But before we address the question, let’s look at the reasons why people choose to travel for their treatment.
Why Do Patients Travel for Medical Care?
Thanks to the increasing globalization of healthcare, the opportunity to travel for medical care is no longer a challenge. Though most people prefer getting treated close to home, several factors prevent them from doing so. For instance, finding the right specialist, high-end equipment and improved technology, long wait time for specific procedures, and most importantly, the cost.
Of the many factors that push people towards medical tourism, the cost is often the primary reason. The cost for standard and advanced medical procedures is high in developed counties. For example, open-heart surgery costs $1,50,000 in the US and $70,000 in the UK, but you could undergo the same treatment for a fraction of that cost in countries like India, Thailand, or Turkey.
Additionally, the wait time for medical treatment tends to be longer in well-developed counties. For example, public hospitals in developed countries ask their patients to wait for anywhere between 40 to 50 days for procedures like cataracts, knee replacement, heart valve surgery, etc.
So, patients choose to travel to developing countries like India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, etc., to get equivalent treatment at a more affordable cost.
Medical Tourism in India: Factors Attracting Medical Tourists
According to surveys and studies, the Indian medical tourism industry is growing at a rate of 20.4 percent CAGR. The country’s state-of-the-art health facilities, highly-skilled medical professionals, and affordable treatment options make it the leading medical tourism destination in Asia.
The low cost is the primary factor attracting people from across the world to fly to India for medical treatment. While other countries have complex processes to obtain visas, India is simplifying visa application processes to encourage more patients to get treated in the country’s best healthcare institutes. India also has more than 500 accredited healthcare providers, meaning you can rest assured receive high-quality treatment.
Another significant advantage of getting treated in India is that you get immediate service and care without waiting time. The medical services are world-class and involve the latest technology. Apart from the modern medical practices, India also offers traditional practices under AYUSH—Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddha, and Homeopathy. So, you can resort to these therapies during your recovery period.
Lastly, though people in India speak a wide array of languages, English is the official language in the country. Hence, you won’t have difficulty expressing your concerns to doctors and other healthcare professionals.
Highly-Rated Cities for Medical Tourism in India
Titled the best city in India for medical tourism, Chennai bags are a major part of both international and domestic health tourists. This is because the city has some of the best hospitals in the country and offers world-class healthcare at affordable rates. Some of the most popular medical treatments available in Chennai hospitals include eye surgery, hip replacement, cardiac bypass, and bone marrow transplant.
Mumbai’s healthcare industry is known for its highly-qualified doctors, medical staff, and great medical faculties. The city’s treatment facilities are highly-rated, and the Research and Diagnostic hubs it holds make it the fastest-growing destination for medical care.
A large number of people from across the world, as well as India, reach Mumbai for cancer treatment, cosmetic surgery, orthopedic treatment, and weight-loss surgeries.
India’s capital city, New Delhi, is ideal for cost-efficient medical treatments regardless of your health problems or illnesses. The city has top-tier private hospitals with special facilities for foreign and domestic patients, including those for heart care, general surgery, neurosurgery, and eye surgery.
Additionally, most of the hospitals here have tie-ups with well-established hospitals in different parts of the country.
Healthcare facilities in Bangalore aim to offer patients from across the world the best medical treatment and care in India. Patients who reach Bangalore can be sure of a pleasant and comfortable treatment experience. The treatment packages are also cost-effective and specially designed by doctors and highly-qualified research teams.
Apart from these three destinations, cities like Ahmedabad, Coimbatore, Hyderabad, Vellore, and Goa are also known for their quality healthcare facilities and treatment options. Furthermore, cities in Kerala, especially Alleppey, are known for their Ayurvedic treatment, where you can experience treatment and massages that are eco-friendly and holistic.
Kerala: An Emerging Destination for Medical Tourism
Kerala—God’s Own Country—is a fantastic spot, renowned for its backwaters, tea estates, waterfalls, and Ayurveda. In fact, the tourism industry has always been the backbone of the state’s economy. What makes Kerala a sought-after medical tourism destination is everything from flight connectivity, pleasant climate, and affordable medical care with quality at par with international standards.
The Ayurveda hub of India, Kerala, is an admired destination for medical care in the country. Thanks to the state’s growing number of hospitals equipped with state-of-the-infrastructure like Aster Medcity, Kerala is now among South Asia’s most advanced healthcare destinations.
Travelers who reach here for medical treatments can move on to undergoing Ayurvedic treatment during their recovery stage to reap the benefits of head and body massages with aromatic oils mixed with herbs.
The Potential Problems with Medical Tourism
While medical tourism offers significant benefits, it also comes with certain drawbacks, which are mainly the contribution of poorly planned medical travels or choosing the wrong medical tourism service provider. For instance, without the right amount of research, chances are you might end up undergoing a poor-quality surgery in an improper facility.
When patients travel to an unfamiliar country, it is essential they choose the right service provider so they won’t have to return home with disappointment and worsened health.
This is where we can be of help.
At Bluedot Medical Assistance, we strive to make your medical travel journey as hassle-free and comforting as possible. We arrange the best healthcare facility in the best destination that suits your medical needs and helps you adjust to the new environment during your treatment and recovery phase.
Our services range from hospital bed booking to doctor appointments, cost containment, custom packages, prior second opinion, follow-up care, and visa application. You will be assigned a 24-hour dedicated case manager who will work with you throughout your journey to ensure your comfort and address any challenges you might be facing.
Reach out to us to discuss your medical needs, and let us help you with the best medical travel options and packages.