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The Medical Tourism Industry, poised to be a whooping USD 8-9 Billion Industry in India by the year 2020, is highly unorganized & unstructured. According to various reports of Industrial bodies, Indian Medical Travel Industry or Healthcare services is growing at a compounded rate of 20-25 per cent.

The Medical and Wellness Industry in India, being a highly unorganized and unstructured industry, is currently driven by limited market players and requires a systematic structural presentation, according to an in-depth study titled “Medical Tourism Opportunities and Challenges”.

The study, conducted in Delhi and National Capital Region (NCR), found if structural development of the sector is ensured, it will facilitate creation of a level playing field for the medical & ancillary service providers which in turn will put the country as one of the most premier Medical Travel destination in the world.

Jitin Kapoor, Joint Secretary at International India Medical Tourism Congress (IIMTC), who spearheaded the study along with a team of researchers, told “Inno Health” in an exclusive interview that the Medical Tourism Industry is undoubtedly one of the most promising sector for the country’s economy, and shall be one of the major source of revenue generation, as well as job creation in near future.

The study finds positioning India in the world market as a bigger and valued prospect for medical travelers from around the world. Mr Kapoor, also a chartered accountant, recommended that there is a dire need to improve the local travel and accommodation facilities for the medical tourists. The available ancillary services need to be adequately marketed and showcased for the medical travelers as a lot of difficulty is faced by them due to lack of awareness.

According to him, the payment security for service providers as well as medical travelers needs to be developed through a dedicated digital payment platform.

A common organizing platform, integrating all the medical service providers, along with the related service providers is highly desirable. They are required to be brought on single digital platform which will assist in providing transparent and conducive environment leading to a positive feedback and in turn help the industry to flourish.

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Medical Tourism, also known as Health & Wellness tourism, in recent years, has been coined as a term to represent the movement of people from one place to another for their medical treatment care, and wellness needs. People from across the world travel to other countries for their surgical, medical, dental requirements, etc.

And at the same time make some time for family vacations, tours & travels to experience the local attractions of the destinations. Such movement has in itself evolved as one of the most rapidly growing industry integrating travel & tourism sector with healthcare and wellness sector; both being the most revenue generating sectors for an economy.

India, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Greece, Peru, to name a few are some of the major Medical Travel destinations. This phenomenon has been actively prevalent in the healthcare sector across the globe for last one and half decade and is growing tremendously.

With high cost of treatment in the West, to the long waiting time for treatment in the EU Countries, the people from developed and industrialized nations are looking for destinations that have a ready availability for treatments with the facilities that are at par with their own country. The countries like Africa, Oman, Afghanistan, etc. are also looking for better healthcare infrastructure as compared to their own.

India can serve as an enormous potential destination for all the international medical travelers owing to its healthcare facilities that match the best in the world, along with a vast number of West trained medical practitioners. Another major factor is the cost effectiveness the Indian Healthcare sector provides viz-a-viz the International healthcare costs. People travelling for medical processes can get the treatment readily available and that too with a 5-Star Hospitality (in a fraction of the cost they incur in their own countries). Travelers also have an option to explore the country with amazing picturesque destinations, backed with rich heritage culture.

This exceptional combination has already made the Medical Tourism Industry worth 2.5 Billion USD in India, growing at a compounded rate of 20-25 per cent, as per various reports of Industrial Bodies.

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