HYDERABAD: The Indian healthcare sector is witnessing 22-25 per cent growth in medical tourists from across the globe due to its ability to offer world-class patient care at about a third of the cost prevalent in the UK or the United States.
Healthcare providers expect the medical tourism industry to reach $6 billion by 2018 from the current $3 billion per year, reports Business Standard.
India’s leading super speciality hospital chain Apollo Group gets the highest share of medical tourists. It has received 1.7 lakh foreign patients from 87 countries during 2016-17. It supports medical tourists in Foreigners’ Regional Registration Office (FRRO) process, visa extension and availing foreign exchange at the bed side
The ministries of health, external affairs, tourism and culture are closely working to increase the number of medical tourists. The government is providing online medical visa, multiple entries, extension of stay, and accreditation to more hospitals. Several other measures are still underway, according to Indian Medical Association (IMA).
“Government has improved the visa policy to be more patient friendly. There is no waiting time for foreign patients at the hospitals,” Apollo’s vice president-international business development Radhey Mohan said.
Patients come for joint replacement surgeries, heart, liver, bone marrow transplant, spine, brain surgeries, cancer, kidney treatments, stomach ailments, in vitro fertilisation (IVF) and high risk pregnancies.