The tourism industry of India is flourishing because of its rich heritage and resources. Medical tourism is a growing sector in Asian destinations, but India stands out amongst them for reasons such as, reputed and highly qualified healthcare professionals, quality nursing facilities, cost of treatment in India is considered to be the lowest in Asia, the availability of latest medical technologies of international medicinal standards, various travel discounts and schemes like ‘Medical visa’ that is designed exclusively for medical tourism, India’s traditional health care therapies like Ayurveda and Yoga, combined with allopathic treatment, provide a holistic wellness, several five-star medical facilities and lastly, the English language spoken widely.
Most common treatments are heart surgery, knee transplant, cosmetic surgery and dental care. The reason India is a favourable destination is because of its infrastructure and technology at par with those in USA, UK and Europe.There are no language problems, mostly. The government has removed visa restrictions on tourist visas that earlier required a two-month gap between consecutive visits for people from Gulf countries, which is likely to boost medical tourism. A visa-on-arrival scheme for tourists from select countries has been instituted which allows foreign nationals to stay in India for 30 days for medical reasons.
India offers world-class medical facilities, comparable with any of the western countries. India has state-of-the-art hospitals and the best qualified doctors. The best possible medical facilities, accompanied with the most competitive prices, you can get the treatment done in India at the lowest charges. A patient coming to India, usually undergoes medical treatment alongside and can also have a tourist experience, as and when advised by the doctors. This saves him a lot of money whilst discovering India, all at the same time.
Some of the top specialties for medical travelers
Cosmetic surgery, dentistry (general, restorative, cosmetic), cardiovascular, Orthopeadics (joint and spine; sports medicine), Cancer, reproductive (fertility, IVF, women’s health), weight loss and scans, tests, health screenings and second opinions.
Most estimates claim treatment costs in India start at around a tenth of the price of comparable treatment in the US or Britain. The most popular treatments sought in India by medical tourists are alternative medicine, bone-marrow transplant, cardiac bypass, eye surgery and hip replacement. India is known in particular for heart surgery, hip resurfacing and other areas of advanced medicine.
As per SRI International, the growth in the related fields as mentioned below;
Global wellnes economy: $3.4 Trillion in 2013
Wellness tourism: $494 Billion
Thermal/Mineral springs: $50 billion
Spa industry: $94 billion
Beauty & anti-ageing: $1026 billion
Complimentary & alternative medicine: $187 billion
Preventive & personalised medicine: $433 billion
Wellness lifestyle real estate: $100 billion
Workplace wellness: $41 billion
Healthy eating, nutrition & weight loss: $574 billion
Fitness and mind-body: $446 billion
The author of this article is Rekha Chaudhari, Co-Founder of JCKRC Spa Destination, Spa and Wellness Expert and Consultant, Committee member of Spa Management Education, Global Spa and Wellness Summit; FICCI Wellness Committee and DGE&T with the Ministry of Labour and Employment, GOI