Medical value travel industry in India to reach $ 9-bn by 2020: Study

Cost effectiveness and superior outcomes help India to emerge as one of the preferred global medical value travel destinations, says a FICCI-IMS Health study

Medical value travel industry in India to reach $ 9-bn by 2020: Study

The medical value travel (MVT) industry has emerged as one of the fastest growing segment of the tourism industry. Globally, the market is estimated at around $ 40-55 billion. India’s MVT market size was estimated at $ 3 billion with CAGR (2010-15) of 15 percent, however, there is significant potential for accelerated growth given the opportunity size. 

As per 2015 data, while 11 million people travelled to seek treatment, only 500,000 foreign patients travelled to India seeking treatment. However, through adequate focus and effective execution, MVT in India can be a $ 9 billion opportunity by 2020 and establish India as ‘The provider to the world’, according to a report - titled ‘Medical value travel in India: Enhancing value in MVT’ - conducted jointly by FICCI and IMS Health. 

As per the study, India is one the key MVT destinations in Asia with over 500,000 foreign patients seeking treatment. It revealed that cost effectiveness, superior clinical outcomes and alternative medicine are key parameters on which India differentiates itself from other MVT destinations. 
The FICCI - IMS Health study was commissioned in order to carry out an unbiased evaluation of India vis-a-vis other popular MVT destinations across Asia and developed markets. The aim was also to understand key considerations for MVT patients and define guidelines that can strengthen as well as improve India’s position thereby emerging as as one of the most preferred MVT destinations across the world. The study is an effort to bring together key stakeholders of the MVT ecosystem including policy makers, providers and facilitators and help them work in conjunction to help India emerge as ‘The provider to the world’.

Bhavdeep Singh, chair, FICCI Medical Value Travel Committee & CEO - Fortis Healthcare said, “Over the last decade, India has grown to become a sought after destination for medical value travel because it has proven to be superior across multiple factors that determines the overall quality of care. However, to position ourselves as leading providers of quality healthcare, the medical value travel stakeholders in India will need to consolidate our efforts and strategise on how to leverage the available opportunities.”

SAARC countries such as Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Maldives are major sources of medical value travel followed by African countries such as Nigeria, South Africa and Kenya. Proximity, cultural connect and connectivity are key reasons for inflow of patients from these regions. Few new sources of medical value travel too have emerged in the recent years such as Russia, CIS countries and Myanmar.

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“India can leverage its civilisational connections with Middle East and SAARC countries to deepen relationships and leverage this advantage through wider MVT offerings,” said Dr Harish Pillai, co-chair, FICCI medical value travel committee; and CEO, Aster Medcity. 
Within treatments sought by MVT patients, India is considered preferred destination for cardiology, orthopaedics, transplant and ophthalmology in curative care. India also enjoys high credibility in wellness and prevention through alternative medicine.

Medical value travel in India has been spearheaded by large corporate hospitals who have created strong global equity with their high-end technology and qualified surgeons in super specialty areas like cardio surgery and orthopaedic surgery.
Health facts:
  • Global medical value travel market was estimated between $40-55 billion in 2015, with a growth rate of 15 percent
  • Approximately 11 million travel overseas for seeking medical care in the world
  • About 500,000 foreign patients seeking treatment in India
  • Alternative medicine is one of the top drivers for India’s MVT industry
  • India’s AYUSH industry to grow at a CAGR of 25 percent between 2015-2018

First Published: Oct 6 2016 | 5:25 PM IST

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