The scope & future of medical tourism in India

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Medical Tourism can be elaborated as a process of combining ‘cost-effective’ private medical facility in collaboration with the tourism industry for patients who need superior surgical and other forms of specialized therapy.

In recent times, medical tourism has appeared to be one of the predominant segments of the tourism sector in India, and it is the fastest growing segment.

The significance of medical tourism

The unique features of medical tourism are:-

  • Best medical facilities in top-notch accredited hospitals with recent cutting-edge technologies
  • Lower cost of treatment as compared to economically developed countries like U.S., UK, and Australia
  • A golden opportunity to travel abroad and associate your medical treatment abroad while enjoying your vacations
  • Lesser waiting time, quicker response time and individual attention
  • Patient Safety and Satisfaction

The scope of India in medical tourism

Medical tourism is an economic activity that involves trade in services and represents two of the most significant world industries: medicine and tourism.

  • According to a study carried under the aegis of Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), medical tourism in India is projected to become a US $2.3 billion industry with an annual growth rate of 30% in 2012 from 12%.

The main reasons for the growing popularity of medical tourism in India are:

  • The exhausting long waiting lists in the developed countries
  • The lower cost of medical treatments in India compares to so-called developed countries. In India, complicated surgical procedures are performed at one-tenth of the cost as compared to the proceedings in the developed countries
  • The affordable international airfares and favorable exchange rates
  • With a fast growing internet connection; development of cutting-edge communications
  • New companies like medical tour operator have emerged who arrange contacts between international patients and hospital networks, giving patients easy access to information, prices and various options,
  • The state-of-art technology, specialist physicians, qualified nurses and trained para-medical staffs that have been adopted by the big hospitals and diagnostics centers in India.

As a part of medical tourism, India is recognized as the hub for test tube babies and surrogacy services.

India has become the hub for test tube babies
India has become the hub for test tube babies

India also offers high-tech cardiac, dental, Orthopedic surgical treatment like knee joint replacement, hip replacement, bone marrow transplant, bypass surgery and cosmetic surgery as well as the traditional healthcare systems.

High-tech medical tourism services in India
High-tech medical tourism services in India

Indian hospitals boast of unique preventive health check-ups for family members accompanying the patients in addition to alternative medicine services

Preventive health checkups in India
Preventive health checkups in India

There are various factors which are directly affecting the decision of foreign tourist patients about taking health care treatment in Indian hospitals (Multiple responses)

Affecting FactorsFrequencyPercentage
Online comparison regarding
the costs of health care treatment
and non-medical facilities is possible
An appropriate accreditation system
for Indian hospital


Future of medical tourism is considered as a booster for growing Indian economy. Considering the current scenario of world-class facilities and top infrastructure, medical tourism has a huge potential to attract a higher number of foreign travelers to India for their health needs.


  1. MEDICAL TOURISM IN INDIA. Available from: Accessed on 27th Jan ‘19
  2. Saptarshi D, Mukul S, Rout SK. Scope and management of medical tourism in India. Journal of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Research. 2010;2(6):479-81.
  3. Dhodi K, Uniyal M, Sharma MS. Trends and Scope of Medical Tourism: Case Study of Delhi NCR, India. International Research Journal of Business and Management–IRJBM, Volume No-II. 2014.

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