How Does One Increase Medical Tourism in India?


Medical tourism is a booming sector in India that has been growing steadily. Growing corporate culture in medical hospitality and government impetus has proved to be a boon for medical tourism in India. The sector is estimated to grow up to a mammoth figure of $9 billion with a compounded annual growth (CAGR) rate of 200% by the year 2020.

There is no doubt that the Indian subcontinent is going to receive its next crown jewel from doctors and healthcare professionals of the country. The birth-place of Ayurveda is foraying into the global market of modern healthcare with leaps and bounds. A growth rate of 200% might seem a bit inflated to some individuals, but there are many reasons why this number has increased at such a phenomenal rate.

Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Delhi together account for more than 50% of the market value, followed by Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and West Bengal, each accounting for 10%, 9% and 7% of the value respectively. The numbers are not absolute but approximations based on a study conducted by the Madras School of Economics.

Reasons for the massive growth

  • Infrastructure- Growing corporate culture due to privatisation has brought massive private investments into the market. With private investments, medical infrastructure has reached global standards and even more. State-of-the-art medical and diagnostic facilities from top manufacturers around the planet are nothing new in private healthcare scenario here.
  • Economy- Even with top of the line services and facilities, Indian healthcare is the cheapest when compared to developed countries like UK and USA. A surgery that would cost more than a $100,000 in the US will only cost $7000 in India. The availability of top-notch services within the budget of the economically constrained is what medical tourism in India promises to every tourist.
  • Semantic fluidity- Most of the Indian doctors are trained or have worked at medical institutions of Europe, America and other developed destinations. This has ensured that there is no language barrier while communicating with international patients and medical tourists. 
  • Tourism- India is already a major hotspot for international tourists around the world. With the added advantage of extremely cheap, state of the art healthcare, it is not unnatural for a recreational tourist to take a detour to the healthcare institutes of the country.
  • Lybrate- Lybrate for doctors is a mobile app where patients can consult with doctors for free. It has been developed in India and headquartered in New Delhi. The fact that it is free is enough to attract attention to this Indian start-up. The CEO plans on growing the company through patient engagement.

4 ways to increase medical tourism in India

  • 360° government support- With the increase in government support, the CAGR has a potential of growing even more. Funds to improve infrastructure in public hospitals is also highly desirable to maintain competitive prices. Government intervention is also necessary to keep corporate and profit maximisation sentiment at check. It will also increase people’s trust in the Indian healthcare system. 
  • Marketing and promotion- Proper marketing and promotional activities will increase public acceptance. Medical tourism has hit major milestones without proper promotion. One can only imagine the effects of a proper marketing campaign on the industry.
  • Provision for visa on arrival- If the ministry of healthcare and the government work on creating the infrastructure that allows visa on arrival to medical tourists, it will be a significant push towards an even brighter future of Indian healthcare tourism industry.
  • Accepting patients with contagious illness- The country does not allow admission in case of contagious illnesses. Infrastructures for quarantine facilities will further the base of service takers and increase revenue fostering increased GDP in the country.

This article is inspired by a doctor’s guide to medical tourism. Facts presented are in no way manipulated for any third party benefit.

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