Medical tourism isn’t a recent global phenomenon; it dates back to thousands of years, when Greek pilgrims travelled everywhere the Mediterranean to the tiny territory within the Gulf of Aegina called Epidauria, a medical tourism destination of that era.
With the appearance of globalization and culture of consumerism, there’s an increasing tendency among people to travel in search of higher quality and affordable health options. Medical tourism includes medical treatments, wellness and alternative medicines.
Medical tourism is gradually transitioning towards medical value travel that also includes capturing a patient’s healthcare-seeking behavior yet because of the wider economic impact on the countries hosting them.
It is estimated that 11 million people travel annually to hunt medical aid out of their country, which is around 1 percent of the worldwide tourist volume. Medical tourism is today a $30 billion industry, having grown at a formidable rate of over 15 per cent over the last decade.
India has been a historical medical tourism destination, visited by a relentless stream of health travelers seeking to heal themselves. Over the last decade, India has grown to become a sought-after destination for medical tourism. Today, India is one amongst the highest 10 medical tourism destinations within the world.
Modern healthcare facilities, skilled doctors and low cost of treatment have made India a preferred hub of medical tourism attracting an outsized number of patients per annum. India’s medical value travel revenue recorded $3 billion in 2015. It received 4.95 lakh medical travelers during the year 2017 as against 4.27 lakh in 2016.
Bangladesh and Afghanistan are the highest two countries from where the most number of medical tourists arrived in 2017. Around 2.2 lakh tourists from Bangladesh and 56,000 from Afghanistan arrived in India for medical purpose.
Other source countries from where an outsized number of medical tourists come to India include Iraq, Oman, Maldives, Yemen, Uzbekistan, Sudan, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania and Saudi Arabia. As per India Tourism Statistics 2017, 63 per cent tourists arriving in India from Iraq were medical travellers. Nigeria, Yemen and Afghanistan are other countries during which the share of medical travellers out of the full travellers coming to India was over 40 per cent.
India : Robust and user – friendly healthcare facilities
India’s top-notch healthcare system is as good as the best in the world. The country sustains a robust accreditation system with a large number of accredited facilities – 275 such facilities are present in the country that match global healthcare infrastructure. India has 22 Joint Commission International (JCI)-accredited hospitals and compares well with other countries in Asia. This set of approved hospitals in India can provide cure and care at par or above global standards, ensuring what is the most important for a patient – peace-of-mind.
India’s world-class, globally-accredited and user-friendly healthcare facilities provide a warm and empathetic environment for patients to recover and heal.
The USPs that have made India one of the preferred medical tourism spots are:
Lower cost of treatment
With the cost of medical treatment in the developed Western world remaining high, the Indian medical tourism sector has an edge because of cost-effective medical care. Studies have shown that healthcare in India saves 65-90 per cent money compared to similar service in the United States.
World class services and care
Indian doctors are recognised as among the best at the international level. Medical technology, equipments, facilities and infrastructure in India are at par with international standards. India has around 33 JCI (Joint Commission International)-accredited and 400 NABH-accredited hospitals, at present.
Less wait time
The wait time for surgery and medical treatment in India are non-existent compared to Western nations, where patients have to wait for weeks or even months for life-saving treatments.
Ease of getting medical visa
The introduction of e-Medical Visa and e-Medical Attendant Visa for travellers has been a game changer for India. Medical travellers from 166 countries can arrive in India through 26 designated airports and five designated seaports with e-Medical Visa. Unlike other categories of e-visa, a traveller can enter the country up to three times with an e-Medical Visa. There is also a provision of issuing an e-Medical Attendant Visa to two adult attendants for each patient.
Attraction of ‘Incredible India’
India, with its ancient and modern heritage, diversities of culture and exotic destinations is always an attraction to international travellers. Medical travel offers a mix of pleasure, luxury and quality healthcare for medical patients coming to India.
Treatment economics and affordability
What is one of the top factors that a patient chooses before deciding on procedures and treatments? It is the cost of the treatment. India’s unmatched offering of quality treatment at an affordable cost comprises an unbeatable advantage that no patient can ignore. This unique coming together of the highest quality and cost advantage represents unparalleled benefits when it comes to major treatments. For other treatments, it could be anything from one-fifth to one-tenth of what is normally charged in Western countries and as much as 80 to 90% of treatment costs in other South Asian medical destinations. Also consider the fact that a heart bypass procedure costs roughly U.S $1,40,000 without any insurance in the U.S. the same procedure, however costs one-twentieth at any one of India’s leading surgery centers. Moreover, procedures such as hip and knee replacement, face lift and gastric bypass are far more affordable in India, including the cost of travel and accommodation, compared to the U.S, or even other countries in Asia. India’s medical value advantage is derived from the fact that the estimated 6,00,000 people who come into the country from other nations know that they can regain their health at a fraction of the cost. India’s socialist orientation makes it a nation focused on the welfare and wellbeing of the world.
India is on the right direction to becoming a destination of preference for medical tourism. India today, is rightly called ‘the pharmacy to the world’. In order to reap the said vision of being ‘the company to the world’ with the aid of delivering best care at less costly cost, incorporated effort via all key stakeholders such as the government, health & tourism industry, carrier providers, facilitators and regulators is the need of the hour.
There are many organizations in India which provide world class medical facilities to the international patients. One such organization in India is MedGinnie that provides world class medical and surgical treatment in India to international patients seeking affordable and high quality care.
MedGinnie is very well known for its thorough knowledge about the services and branches of medicine provided by the hospitals in India. On consulting them, the patient gets the best advice about the doctors and the specialized centers with no extra treatment cost.
There are ample of services being provided by MedGinnie that includes a dedicated team of in- house professionals to attend the queries of the sensitive patients, multiple options from various hospitals are offered to a single query sent by their clients; this gives them the freedom to evaluate the different options properly and chose the most suitable option that serves their purposes the best , prior to the arrival of the patients, they arrange for the doctor and the patient communication via phone or email which ensures a complete transparency of the process and also creates a comfort zone for the patient to travel, for complete assistance they visit the patients periodically in the hospital during their stay and also communicate with them on a regular basis and many more.
MedGinnie provides the services by offering the quality treatment, top hospitals by assisting in comparing costs and doctors at top hospitals in different countries.
MedGinnie associated medical institutions include Joint Commission International ( JCI), National Accreditation Board of Hospitals (NABH), International Services Organization (ISO) accredited hospitals that provide the highest international standard and quality assurance. Some of our top surgeons have over 20 years of experience in their respective fields and are qualified members of Medical boards in India, United States of America, United Kingdom, Australia and France.