India’s Emergence as a Premier Medical Hub: Reviving Medical Tourism Post-Covid
The global healthcare landscape has witnessed a remarkable shift in recent years, with India gaining recognition for providing high-quality medical services at significantly lower costs to patients travelling worldwide. However, the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent travel bans severely impacted the influx of medical tourists into the country.
The Tourism Ministry reported a staggering negative growth rate of 79.4% in 2020. Despite this setback, the situation is gradually improving as efforts to combat the pandemic yield positive results. Market insights suggest a robust 19% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for the demand for medical tourism in India by 2022.
What makes India an increasingly popular destination for medical treatment?
The country’s healthcare industry offers a unique blend of modern and traditional medicine, setting it apart from competitors. Firstly, India boasts world-class doctors and hospitals that provide treatments at a fraction of the cost compared to other nations. Secondly, India’s ancient systems of medicine, known as AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga, Panchakarma, Rejuvenation Therapy, etc.), are gaining immense popularity globally.
To further enhance the credibility of AYUSH products and promote India’s medical tourism sector, Prime Minister Modi recently announced plans to launch an AYUSH Mark. India’s medical services and facilities also adhere to standards set by reputable organizations such as WHO, the World Health Organization, and the US Food and Drug Administration (US FDA).
Significant investments are required to enhance the healthcare industry’s infrastructure and equipment, making them more appealing to international patients. Proper infrastructure and standardization in the tourism industry, mainly guest house services, are crucial to ensure patients’ safety and minimize the risk of infections. Additionally, there is a vast opportunity to offer Indian health insurance to foreign patients, which has the potential to generate an additional $9 billion in patient inflow to India.
The government is leaving no stone unturned to maximize the potential of the medical tourism industry. The objective is to make India the number one destination for medical tourism, tripling its revenue to $13 billion within four years. To support this vision, the government has proposed an outlay of US$ 28.7 billion for health and well-being, a substantial increase of 137% compared to the previous year’s budget allocation.
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has taken several measures to facilitate medical tourism:
- Special Medical Visas for healthcare purposes have been made available in 165 countries.
- Establishing a feedback mechanism aims to gather testimonials from medical tourists visiting India, providing credible information and convenience.
The ‘Heal in India’ initiative seeks to position the country as a global medical and wellness tourism destination. This initiative will enable foreigners and those seeking medical assistance to access a comprehensive list of hospitals offering their desired treatments through a user-friendly online portal. It will be a one-stop shop, covering treatment package costs, visa applications, grievance redressals, and feedback. Additionally, the initiative aims to create a database of healthcare professionals which includes dedicated doctors, nurses, and pharmacists, allowing them to specify their interest in providing services abroad, thus facilitating India’s diversification of operations.
The Ministry of Tourism has also taken serious steps to promote medical tourism
The Marketing Development Assistance Scheme (MDA) provides financial support to approved tourism service providers, enhancing tourist facilities.
Publicity materials, including brochures and CDs, have been extensively used to promote medical and health tourism under the Ministry of Tourism’s “Incredible India Campaign.” The campaign has successfully showcased the benefits of yoga, Ayurveda, and wellness practices across print, electronic, internet, and outdoor media.
As the world emerges from the Covid-19 pandemic, the demand for healthcare services is expected to surge, presenting India with a tremendous opportunity to attract medical tourists from Europe, the Americas, and beyond.
With the government’s unwavering commitment to making India the hub of medical tourism and the rising demand, the country is poised to become the ultimate destination for all medical tourists. India’s leadership in saving millions of lives will drive job creation and generate over $13 billion in foreign exchange, firmly establishing its position as a global healthcare leader.
How UniMediks can help you?
UniMediks are pivotal in facilitating affordable treatment for foreign nationals in India. Here’s how UniMediks can help:
Extensive Network of Medical Providers: UniMediks has partnered with renowned hospitals, clinics, and healthcare professionals across India. This vast network allows us to connect foreign nationals with the best medical providers offering affordable treatment options without compromising quality.
Customized Treatment Packages: UniMediks understands that each patient has unique healthcare needs. We work closely with medical providers to create customized treatment packages that align with patients’ requirements and budgets. These packages often include comprehensive medical services, accommodation, transportation, and other necessary arrangements, ensuring a hassle-free experience.
Cost Transparency and Negotiation: UniMediks believes in transparency regarding healthcare costs. We provide detailed cost breakdowns of treatment procedures, consultations, medications, and additional services. Our team negotiates with medical providers to secure competitive pricing, helping foreign nationals access affordable treatment options.
Assistance with Visa and Travel Arrangements: Traveling to an international country for medical treatment can be daunting. UniMediks offers guidance and support throughout the visa application process, ensuring a smooth and hassle-free journey for patients. We also assist with travel arrangements, including flight bookings, airport transfers, and accommodation, making the entire experience convenient and stress-free.
Language and Cultural Support: Overcoming language and cultural barriers is essential for foreign nationals seeking treatment in India. UniMediks provides language interpretation services to ensure effective communication between patients and healthcare providers. We also offer cultural guidance, helping patients navigate the cultural nuances and adapt to the local environment.
Post-Treatment Follow-up: UniMediks recognizes the importance of post-treatment care and follow-up. We facilitate regular communication between patients and medical providers, ensuring that patients receive the necessary support and guidance even after returning to their home countries.
Quality Assurance: UniMediks works only with accredited and reputable healthcare providers in India. We carefully evaluate the quality of services and infrastructure our partner hospitals and clinics offer. This commitment to quality ensures that foreign nationals receive safe and effective treatment from trusted medical professionals.
By leveraging our expertise and network, UniMediks strives to make affordable treatment in India accessible to foreign nationals. Our comprehensive support throughout the medical journey, combined with competitive pricing and quality assurance, enables patients to receive the care they need at affordable costs.