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India Ranked Seventh in the World for Medical Tourism

Diverse both geographically and culturally, India stands as a nation that has not only transformed its own landscape but also shaped global perceptions. Travellers from around the globe are drawn to India for various reasons, with leisure and medical care being prominent motivations. A crucial factor contributing to this appeal is the accessibility of cost-effective healthcare services offered by reputable Indian hospitals. 

Medical Care

Many individuals seek comparable medical care in India due to its competitive pricing. Moreover, India's commitment to enhancing its visa processes and medical infrastructure, particularly in fields like IVF treatment, is a testament to its drive to attract international medical tourists. 

This attraction is further fueled by the presence of highly skilled medical professionals across various disciplines, including alternative therapies. Additionally, India's contemporary medical facilities, affordable accommodations, and adherence to healthcare regulations all play vital roles in making the country a preferred destination for medical treatments, including cancer care and other diagnoses.

India's Medical Tourism Rank: An Overview

India holds the seventh position among the top 20 wellness tourism markets due to its accessible medical services. In 2016, India attracted more than 560 million medical tourists, contributing to a spending of 16.3 billion USD. Within the Asia Pacific region, it secures the third spot in terms of health-focused travel. Despite the challenges posed by Covid-19 travel restrictions, India managed to receive over 2 lakh international patients in 2020. Although the numbers were lower compared to previous years, a significant number of individuals seeking medical care were able to travel once travel bans were lifted in 2021. Notably, medical tourists from countries like Turkey, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Oman, Iraq, Maldives, Nigeria, and Kenya frequent India, often seeking the best cancer treatment. Following the setback caused by the pandemic in 2020, projections suggest that India's medical tourism is expected to surpass a value of USD 13 billion.

Preferred Medical Treatments for International Patients

International patients exhibit a notable preference for various treatments within the Indian healthcare tourism sector, even though official statistics might be lacking. These treatments include cancer therapies, organ transplants, dental procedures like dentures, implants, and maxillofacial surgery, as well as cosmetic and plastic surgery procedures such as rhinoplasty, liposuction, and various skin treatments.

Best Indian City for Medical Tourism

For medical tourism in India, several cities stand out as prime destinations. These cities, including Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Goa, and Kolkata, have been chosen due to factors such as international connectivity, convenient intercity travel, state-of-the-art hospital infrastructure, renowned and experienced medical professionals, compassionate caregivers, diverse food options, and reasonably priced lodging for pre- and post-operative stays during the recovery period.

India's healthcare industry is well-supported by pharmaceuticals, diagnostics, robust research and development, rehabilitation services, and manufacturers of advanced medical equipment. Collectively, these sectors have contributed 2.53 billion USD to India's economy over the past decade, with expectations of continued growth in the coming years.

Furthermore, India holds a prominent position in the pharmaceutical industry and serves as a major exporter of medications to around 200 countries.

India Holds Prominent

Economic Contributions of the Medical Sector to India

The medical sectors in India have made significant economic contributions through the following major avenues:

  • Revenue from Medical Tourism

India's reputation as a medical tourism hub has attracted a large number of international patients seeking high-quality and cost-effective healthcare services. This influx of medical tourists contributes significantly to the country's economy through expenditures on medical treatments, accommodations, travel, and other related expenses.

  • Pharmaceutical Industry

India is a global leader in pharmaceutical manufacturing and exports. The pharmaceutical sector generates substantial revenue by producing and exporting a wide range of generic medications to countries around the world. This industry's robust growth has established India as a key player in supplying affordable healthcare solutions globally.

  • Healthcare Infrastructure Development

The establishment and expansion of modern healthcare infrastructure, including hospitals, clinics, diagnostic centres, and research facilities, contribute to economic growth by generating construction-related activities, creating jobs, and stimulating local economies.

  • Medical Research and Development (R&D)

India's medical R&D sector plays a pivotal role in driving innovation and advancements in healthcare. Research institutions, pharmaceutical companies, and medical device manufacturers contribute to the economy by investing in research, creating intellectual property, and developing cutting-edge medical technologies.

  • Medical Equipment Manufacturing

The manufacturing of medical devices and equipment, ranging from diagnostic tools to surgical instruments, is a significant contributor to the Indian economy. This sector not only caters to domestic healthcare needs but also exports products to global markets, enhancing India's reputation as a reliable medical equipment supplier.

Overall, these economic contributions reinforce India's position as a thriving healthcare destination and foster growth across multiple sectors, leading to enhanced job creation, increased foreign exchange earnings, and overall economic development.


 What is India's ranking as a medical tourism destination?

India ranks seventh among the top 20 wellness tourism markets globally, making it a prominent destination for medical tourism.

What is India's rank among Asia Pacific countries prioritising health?

India stands at the third position among Asia Pacific countries that prioritise health and medical tourism.

How did India's medical tourism industry perform during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Despite travel restrictions, India welcomed over 2 lakh (200,000) international patients in 2020. Although fewer than previous years, many patients sought medical care once travel bans were lifted in 2021.

Which countries frequently send medical tourists to India?

Countries like Turkey, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Oman, Iraq, Maldives, Nigeria, and Kenya are among the top sources of medical tourists in India, with many seeking specialised treatments like cancer care.

What types of medical treatments are preferred by international patients in India?

International patients in India often seek treatments such as cancer therapies, organ transplants, dental procedures including implants and maxillofacial surgeries, and cosmetic and plastic surgeries like rhinoplasty and liposuction.

Which Indian cities are popular for medical tourism?

Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Goa, and Kolkata are prominent cities for medical tourism in India due to factors like international connectivity, advanced hospital infrastructure, experienced medical professionals, and suitable post-operative accommodation.

How is India's healthcare tourism industry supported and regulated?

India's healthcare tourism is overseen by entities like the National Medical and Wellness Tourism Board, the Quality Council of India, and the Ministry of AYUSH, which ensure that healthcare providers adhere to quality standards and patient welfare.

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