The cost of living is much cheaper in India when compared to many western countries. This is found to be true in the medicinal costs also. The cheap medical costs, better quality of medicines and the kind attention by the hospital staffs attracts patients from other countries to get treatment in India. Tourists from America, Europe and Gulf visits India for medical treatment. A heart valve replacement surgery may cost USD 8000 to 8500 in India, but for the same treatment, the patient has to pay USD 15,000 in USA, which is almost double the expense in India. This is mainly due to the higher consultation fees, high cost of medicines and high amount of insurance in the USA. Their health care policy in USA and other western countries limit them from getting certain treatments, so they prefer to come to India and get unlimited treatments at cheap, affordable price. They do not worry much about the follow-up checkups and after care, as the cheap rate in India are found to be more affordable to them.
Hospitals like Apollo, Max etc. mainly attracts medical tourists due to their quality medicines and affordable treatment and their sales department target mainly such tourists. Cardiology, knee replacement, liver replacement, cancer treatment and cosmetic surgeries in India attracts many tourists due to their cheap prices and quality treatments. Many hospitals have made agreements with the health insurance companies in western countries and have agreed to reimburse a portion of the medical costs, which adds more tourists in this list.
In 2007, a study by Deloitte has found that half a million medical tourists get medical treatment in India and their numbers are found to be constantly increasing at an annual growth rate of 30%. As the world medical tourism market is about USD 60 bn, there is a big chance of getting more tourist to India than any other country in the world. On top of this, Government of India has introduced one year visa for medical tourists planning to get these facilities.
The negative side of this is the price may go up higher for the domestic patients also and make their life miserable.
The services included in this medical tour are world class medical facility, comfortable hospitals, affordable price, use of top consumables and medicines, no waiting time for surgeries, cheap donors (in case if you need any organ donation), staff who can communicate in English, cheap surrogate mothers, good food and comfortable stay in hotels, etc.
India comes in fifth in the world’s most wanted destination for medical treatment. It is believed that medical tourism will bring $2.2 billion per year by 2013 to India