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Indian medical tourism to surpass Rs 4.3 lakh crore by 2034

The medical tourism industry in India is estimated to be valued at Rs 0.88 lakh crore in 2024. It is projected to surpass Rs 4.3 lakh crore by 2034. The industry growth in India is expected to develop at a healthy 17.2% CAGR from 2024 to 2034.

Key industry drivers
In the post-pandemic era, individuals are increasingly becoming health-conscious. This has significantly pushed the demand for cost-effective and high-quality healthcare facilities, even if they have to travel abroad. Even before the pandemic hit the world, the trend of getting exclusive treatments done in developing countries had become a norm for the well-off population residing in developed economies. This has two advantages:

  • Individuals get the benefit of first-class medical services, therapies, surgeons, etc. at nominal expenses
  • They could also take advantage of India’s scenic beauty, rich cultural heritage, and diverse landscapes by combining their treatments with leisure activities

The medical tourism industry in India is also getting much attention from European nations because it offers a wide range of alternative therapies like Ayurveda and yoga. The government of India is also actively promoting these therapies on an international level, attracting more people to the country.

As per a cost comparison study by the American Medical Association, a knee replacement surgery somehow cost US$ 40,000 in the United States, US$ 10,000 in Thailand, and US$ 13,000 in Singapore. However, the same surgery, with better medical care and services, is very likely to cost around US$ 8,500 in India.

Compared to other developed and developing nations, the cost of living in India is also very reasonable. This makes the stay during prolonged treatments even more affordable. Better connectivity from all parts of the world to the Indian metropolitan is also contributing to the growth of the India medical tourism industry.

Trends in the India medical tourism industry
One of the key attractions for people traveling to India is the well-established wellness tourism industry in the different parts of the country. Alternative medical therapies, like Yoga, Ayurveda, naturopathy, meditation, Vipassana, etc., are also getting their undue recognition and appreciation from people worldwide.

The rise of destination management companies contributes to the growth of the India medical tourism industry. They assist in treatment planning, travel arrangements, visa assistance, language interpretation, and local support, enhancing the overall experience for medical tourists.

India, as a country, is also focusing on enhancing its medical infrastructure to cater to the demands of its population. This has significantly changed the face of India’s Medicare and healthcare sector in the past couple of decades.

The country now has 38 hospitals accredited by the Joint Commission International (JCI) and a significant amount of hospitals accredited by the National Accreditation Board for Hospitals and Healthcare Providers (NABH). This generates immense trust in the people looking forward to travel to India for their treatments.

Negative perception and the lack of single unified body to slow down the industry growth of medical tourism in India
The fact that India offers the most affordable medical services in the world also comes with a negative perception in the minds of the people that these services may be low-quality. This notion has dampened the growth of the medical tourism industry in India. Apart from this, India, in the last few decades, has always been the target of terrorist groups and organizations. This has created a sense of fear in the people looking forward to traveling to India.

Competition from other Southeast Asian countries, like Singapore, Thailand, and Malaysia, is also slowing down the India medical tourism industry. India’s healthcare industry also suffers from serious issues of hygiene and patient safety. Unlike other countries, there’s also a lack of a single unified body that works toward the betterment of the medical tourism industry in the country. All these factors are collectively contributing to the negative growth rate of the Indian medical tourism industry. Future Market Insights

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