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Medical Tourism - A Milestone in Indian Tourism

It is the act of traveling to other countries to obtain medical,

dental and surgical cure. Medical tourism also called medical travel, health tourism or global healthcare It also refers pejoratively to the practice of healthcare providers traveling internationally to deliver healthcare. Services typically sought by travelers include elective procedures as well as complex specialized surgeries such as joint replacement, cardiac surgery, dental surgery, and cosmetic surgeries. However, virtually every type of health care, including psychiatry, alternative treatments, convalescent care and even burial services are available

Objectives of the study

To study the status of Medical Tourism in India. To study the Cost Comparison of Medical Tourism between India and U.K&U.S.A To suggest the suitable measures to promote Medical Tourism in our country.

This study is only based on secondary data, which are all collected form various books and journals etc;


Globally, medical tourism is calculated as a $40 billion industry. People from Afro-Asian countries spend 5 percent of their earnings every year on health care services outside their countries. Four countries, especially Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, India, and the Philippines pulled in over 1.5 million medical travelers and earned more than $1.5 billion as treatment costs and 20 per cent increase in earning through medical travel spending every year. Due to the rapid growth of Medical Tourism in certain countries, all the countries are fighting for their global share. South American countries attract patients for plastic surgery from around the globe. Many countries like India, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, South Africa the Philippines, realized the potential of the industry and started developing strategies to attract more medical tourists.


The total number of Primary schools are 32,242, which covers 29.4 lakhs girl students out of 61.4 lakhs of total students. In the same way 8,525 middle schools are functioning with 10.2 lakhs of girl students out of total students (22.7 lakhs). Nearly 3,050 secondary schools are functioning with 6.1 lakhs of girl out of the total students of 12.1 lakhs. Like that 3,425 higher secondary schools cover with 17.6 lakhs of girl out of the total students of 36.1 lakhs.


India has positioned itself as a medical tourism destination recently, and it touted as the best destination among world countries for medical tourism. India received 100,000 overseas patients in 2002 as against 10,000 in 2000. With this rapid growth India finds a Good place in the global medical tourism market. According to the study by McKinsey and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) medical tourism in India could become a $2 billion Business by 2012. The size of the Indian healthcare industry is around Rs 110,000 crore, Accounting for nearly 5.2 per cent of the GDP. It is likely to reach 6.2 per cent to 6.5 per cent of the GDP by 2012. It has a tremendous impact on Indias forex reserve. According to research by the University of Delavare Publication, the cost of surgery in Bolivia, Argentina, India, Thailand, the Philippines, can be one-tenth of what it is in US or Europe. The government and private hospital groups are committed to the goal of making India a world leader in this industry. Its appeal is low-cost treatment. Most patients from countries like USA, and UK travel to India for treatment because India offers the cheapest pricing options of treatment, offers a good holiday, no waiting lists or queues to stand in.

All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi.
Apollo Hospitals. B M Birla Heart Research Centre. Christian Medical College, Vellore. Tata Memorial Hospital. Indraprastha Medical Foundation. Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases. Escorts Hear Institute & Research Centre. Dr Agarval Eye Hospital Manipal Heart Foundation. Breach Candy Hospital. Miot Hospital.

Cost Comparison of Selected Surgeries

Procedure Heart bypass Heartvalve replacement Angioplasty Hip replacement Hysterectomy Knee replacement Spinal fusion 62,000 61,000 7,000 9,000 5,500 20,000 40,000 6000 52,000 4,500 10,000 6,000 13,000 3,000 8,500 57,000 43,000 63,000 48,000 13,000 12,000 13,000 12,000 11,000 9,000 U.S. ($) 130,000 160,000 U.K ($) 100,000 43,000 Thailand ($) 11,000 10,000 Singapore ($) 18,500 12,500 India ($) 10,000 9,000

Source: American Medical Association, June 2007

Cost Comparison of Cosmetic Surgery

(Costs in U.S $)

Procedure Face-lift Breast Augmentation

U.S. ($) 20000 10000

Thailand ($) 4800 3150

Singapore($) 6250 8000

India ($) 3100 2200

Breast Reduction
Eyelid Surgery





Nose Surgery




1800 3400

Tummy Tuck




Source: American Medical Association, June 2007

Cost Comparison between India, US, and United Kingdom

Procedure Open Heart Surgery (CABG)

U.S. ($) 100000

U.K($) 43000

India ($) 7500

Total Knee Replacement Hip Resurfacing LA Hysterectomy Lap Cholcystectomy Spinal Decompression Fusion

48000 55000 22000 18000 60000

52000 48000 24000 20000 65000

6300 7000 4000 3000 5500

Obesity Bypass)




70000 9400

Source: Wockhardt Hospitals-2008


( in percentage)

No active cooperation/support from government to promote medical tourism No world class infrastructure Lack of international/global accreditation. Different pricing policy in hospitals Lack of coordination between various players in the industry airlines, hotels and hospitals. Strong competition from other countries like Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Philippines.


Reducing the hurdles in visa processing Can implement On-Arrival visa-for medical tourists. Can open a healthcare information centre in all Indian Embassies around the world countries. An association or organization can be formed. Should position ourselves as a holistic healthcare Destination in the global medical tourism market. Can include several packages for patients as value-added services

Tourism and healthcare, being an integral part of much economic, service industry, are important sources of Forex. India is unique as it offers holistic healthcare approach through yoga, meditation, ayurveda and other different approaches to cure the disease. India offers vast services combined with culture, which is rare to be found in other countries, and also paves the way to maintain cordial relationship with other countries. To conclude, the USP of Indian medical tourism industry is cost effectiveness. The slogan will suit this situation. First class service at an economy cost. Moreover, with the coordination among the stakeholders, public and private there is no doubt that we can position India in a best place in global medical tourism market

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