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Medical Tourism: One of fastest-growing sectors in India

By Rediff Labs
Last updated on: November 29, 2017 17:44 IST
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Medical Tourism is one of the fastest growing segments of Indian tourism sector.

Medical tourism is also called as Medical Travel, Health Tourism or Global Healthcare.

The term is used to describe a rapidly growing practice of travelling across countries to seek medical services. Services sought include elective and essential procedures as well as complex surgeries etc.

According to the India Tourism statistics report, India holds an advantage as a medical tourism destination due to the following factors:

  • Most of the medical practitioners and surgeons at Indian hospitals are well trained or have worked at some or other time in the leading medical institutions of the world.
  • Most of medical practitioners and nurses are fluent in English.
  • Top of the line medical and diagnostic equipment from global international conglomerates are available at many Indian hospitals.
  • The cost of medical procedures and services are low in India when compared to other competitors in the field.

Rediff Labs analysed the number of people coming to India under medical visa from different countries.

A medical visa is given to those seeking medical treatment in reputed/recognised specialised hospitals/treatment centres in India.

Up to two attendants, who must be blood relatives, are allowed to accompany the applicants under separate ‘medical attendant visas’.

The below map shows the change in the number of people coming to India for medical purposes from 2011 to 2014. The size of the circle shows the number of people arriving in India under medical visa in 2014 (the latest data available).

The graphs shows that most people who come to India for medical purposes are from Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Maldives, South Korea, Nigeria and South Africa.

Top countries from where number of people coming to India for medical purposes increased from 2011 to 2014 are South Africa, South Korea, Philippines, Poland, Pakistan and Turkey.

As the medical tourism in India is growing, different kind of promotions are done by the central government to improve it through workshops, events, meets and seminars.

In India, major cities like Chennai, Delhi, Bangalore, Kolkata, Mumbai and Hyderabad have been attracting many foreign tourists for medical purposes.

Chennai has been termed as the health capital of India because of multi- and super-specialty hospitals across the city.

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Rediff Labs