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India emerges as medical tourism hotspot


Times of Oman, Tuesday, 16th September 2014


India has emerged as one of the most sought after destinations for medical tourists across the globe owing to its high value proposition in terms of quality health care, pool of specialists and availability of alternate treatment options, said Dr. A Didar Singh, Secretary General, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) in a recent report on 'Medical value travel in India'.


The report, released in association with KPMG, aims to highlight medical tourism as a viable value proposition in India.


Amit Mookim, partner and head, Health care KPMG in India, stated, "Medical tourism as a segment has emerged owing to India's increasing strength in health care delivery. This market is expected to expand at a CAGR of 27 per cent to reach $3.9 billion in 2014, from $1.9 billion in 2011. With the emergence of newer needs and with India establishing a firmer footprint as a health care delivery destination, medical tourism is likely to gain impetus."


The health care industry in India is quietly facilitating a revolution to enable India to emerge as an international destination in this regard. According to industry estimates, around seven million patients are said to be travelling each year to receive medical care. Medical value travel or medical tourism is loosely defined as a segment, making an estimation of the market size a challenge.


The SAARC countries have been an important source for India in this regard. Factors like proximity, direct air connectivity, and cultural connect have helped establish India as a preferred destination for patients from the region. The leading states in the country are Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and New Delhi along with Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra. Due to the establishment of some of the earliest medical schools in India's southern states, health care infrastructure available here is of a high standard.


So, it's not surprising that Omanis have made India one of their favourite places for treatment. India's tertiary health care sector is on the road to international fame and it is increasingly being seen as an attractive destination.


The Department of Treatment Abroad, Ministry of Health, government of Oman, annually sends Omani patients to some countries with India on top of the list. The Indian embassy in Muscat issued 3,400 medical tourism visas in 2012. Private agencies send hundreds of Omani patients to India for treatment.


Globally, Medical Value travel (MVT) is a $10.5 billion industry that is estimated to grow to $32.5 billion over the next five years at a CAGR of 17.9 per cent.



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