Medical tourism is seeing a steady growth in the country as per recent statistics. What currently stands at 3 billion dollars is expected to grow to about 7 to 8 billion dollars by the year 2020. India issued more than 1.78 lakh medical visas in the year 2016. As per the IMA, some of the major reasons for this increase in medical tourism in the country include the presence of world-class hospitals and skilled medical professionals. Apart from this, the cost of treatment for various major surgeries inIndia is only a fraction or even as low as 10% of that in many developed countries.

Medical tourism is the process of traveling outside the country of residence for receiving medical care. This originally referred to the travel of patients from less-developed countries to developed nations in pursuit of the treatments not available in their homeland. Another major reason for the rise in medical tourism inIndiais the availability of alternative treatment options such as Ayurveda and Naturopathy.

Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee Dr K K Aggarwal, National President Indian Medical Association (IMA) and President Heart Care Foundation of India (HCFI) and Dr RN Tandon – Honorary Secretary General IMA in a joint statement, said, “Medical tourism has been a major growth sector globally. The exorbitant healthcare costs in the affluent Western countries have made healthcare out of reach for even their citizens. Consequently, they are now looking beyond their borders to seek medical treatment.India has emerged as a prime destination in the last few years for people across the globe in need of medical treatment.

Affordability, high quality healthcare, availability of specialist treatment and advanced technologies are just a few reasons that have madeIndia a much sought-after destination. Furthermore, the diversity of its flora and fauna, its natural beauty including a rich and vibrant cultural heritage has already putIndia on the tourist map. Many facilities inIndia have become a destination for learning and healing together. One can opt for a complete body detox using Yoga techniques and learn them too.”

India now has a simplified e-medical visa facility which allows three visits to the country.The government is also taking steps to address other areas such as standardization and accreditation of services.