With developing medical technologies and cost-effective world-class treatments available, India is becoming the hub for treatment in the medical field. The treatment provided is from accredited facilities at par with any developed country in the world at a much cheaper cost is what is making Medical Value tourism a competitive advantage over others. With several big investments being made in this sector, the functioning of the industry has become more professional, organized, and efficient. Besides the urgent need for quality treatment services, people across the world are making India, the focal point for cost-effective facilities available.
With the integration of surplus talent, technology, tourist attraction, trade, and tradition, India is a potential place to promote itself as a premier global healthcare destination and enable streamlined medical services. Even though Asian countries like Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore has started moving ahead of India, the distinct healthcare features and the initiatives taken by PM of India, exponential growth is confirmed in the upcoming years. Where the overall healthcare market is expected to boom three times from USD 100 billion to USD 300 billion by 2020, the Indian medical tourism will reach USD 10 to 15 billion with four times the growth in the IT market.
The government is all set to participate and boost the morale of the industry apart from providing great opportunities to list the challenges, priorities, and prescription for its betterment. Growth in the medical tourism and healthcare delivery industry will enhance employment opportunities besides the congregation of pharma and medical equipment industries. With a perspective of the opportunities lying ahead, investment and support both from the government and private players will prepare a solid base for future MVT in India and the actions have already overtaken the anticipation.
India is the best attraction for medical tourism
With the availability of the latest technologies and the growing observance on international quality standards, treatment at reduced cost are the assets that have made India the most desirable medical tourism destinations across the world. It costs only a tenth in India for similar treatment procedures and outcomes as compared to US and UK. It was seen that the maximum number of medical visas were availed by medical travelers from Bangladesh, Maldives, Afghanistan, Nigeria, and Korea, due to the fact that visa-on-arrival scheme was an ease for such patients to get treatment and stay in India for 30 days. Earlier a visa would be issued after two months of the previous visit and removing such restrictions has also allowed and attracted many medical tourists from the Gulf countries.
Improvements being planned by the government
With the advent of online and e-commerce healthcare industry, the legal formalities for the patients traveling will be made easy. A checklist along with relevant information will be available on the embassy website that includes the following, requirement of multiple visas for the comfort of multiple entries during follow up treatment, a column for high-end treatment cases involving multiple legalities as in case of kidney and liver transplant to avoid clearance problems on arrival. Transportation of critically ill patients from the airport to the hospital is one of the smallest though complicated issue. The checklist can also include the private hospital’s ambulance pick up from the landing strip directly to the hospital to avoid transferring inconvenience to critically ill patients. These issues if addressed properly can take medical tourism and travelers to India a long way in boosting their confidence.
International travelers focus more on government accreditations. JCI has more global visibility than NABH in India. This can sometimes become an obstruction for attracting medical travelers to India. Even though NABH being the highest accreditation followed in India, it still needs to be promoted and recognized on a global platform to achieve global acceptability.