Latest medical technologies in Indian hospitals at a lower cost is majorly contributing towards the country emerging as the premier medical tourism hub of the world, said health experts on Wednesday.
They said that treatment provided in India from accredited facilities at par with any developed country in the world but at a much cheaper cost, thus making giving medical tourism a competitive advantage over others.
According to experts, the digitisation in the health industry will also make the flow of foreign patients easier in the upcoming time.
"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," said Sanjay Agarwala, Medical Director of Hinduja Hospital.
Growth in the medical tourism and healthcare delivery industry will enhance employment opportunities besides benefitting pharma and medical equipment industries.
According to experts, Indian medical tourism market is expected to more than double to reach $8 billion by 2020. Currently, Bangladesh and Afghanistan dominate the Indian medical value travel with 34 per cent share.
A Confederation of Indian Industry report held that cost is a major driver for nearly 80 percent of medical tourist across the globe.
"With the advent of online and e-commerce healthcare industry the legal formalities for the patients travelling will be made easy. A checklist along with relevant information will be available on the embassy website that includes the requirement of multiple visas for comfort of multiple entries, a column for high-end treatment cases involving multiple legalities as in case of kidney and liver transplant to avoid clearance problems on arrival," said Ruchi Gupta, founder and Chief Executive Officer of 3hcare.in, an online platform promoting medical tourism.
She said one of the reason behind having more patients from Bangladesh, Maldives, Afghanistan, and Nigeria was the visa-on-arrival scheme, easing treatment for such patients and their stay in India for 30 days.
"Earlier a visa would be issued after two months of the previous visit.. removing such restrictions has also allowed and attracted many medical tourists from the Gulf countries," said Gupta.