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: Category Two

Healthcare –Medical tourism

The healthcare sector has been growing at a frenetic pace in the past few years. The windfall began ever since the developed world discovered that it could get quality service for less than half the price.

  • In the last five years, the number of patients visiting India for medical treatment has risen from 10,000 to about 100,000. According to Apollo group chairman Pratap Reddy, one out of every ten patients treated at his hospitals is from abroad.
  • With an annual growth rate of 30 percent, India is already inching closer to Singapore, an established Medicare hub that attracts 150,000 medical tourists a year.
  • Hospitals in India boast of conducting the latest surgeries at a very low cost.
Comparative Price List
Surgery US ($) India ($)
Bone Marrow Transplant 400,000 30,000
Liver Transplant 500,000 40,000
Open Heart Surgery (CABG) 50,000 4,400
Neuro surgery $29,000 8000
Knee Surgery 16,000 4,500


Source: Internet Research

The healthcare industry employs over four million people, which makes it one of the largest service sectors in the economy. A joint study by the Confederation of Indian Industry and McKinsey shows:

  • At the current pace of growth, healthcare tourism alone can rake in over $2 billion as additional revenue by 2012.
  • Healthcare spending in the country will double over the next 10 years. Private healthcare will form a large chunk of this spending, rising from Rs 690 billion ($14.8 billion) to Rs 1,560 billion ($33.6 billion) in 2012. This figure could rise by an additional Rs 390 billion ($8.4 billion) if health insurance cover is available to the rich and the middle class.
  • Voluntary health insurance market is estimated at Rs 4 billion ($86.3 million) currently but is growing fast. Industry estimates put the figure at Rs 130 billion ($2.8 billion) by 2005.
  • With the expected increase in the pharmaceutical market, the total healthcare market could rise from Rs 1,030 billion ($22.2 billion) currently (5.2 percent of GDP) to Rs 2,320 billion ($50 billion)-Rs 3,200 billion ($69 billion) (6.2-8.5 percent of GDP) by 2012.

According to Nasscom, by year 2005, Indian healthcare companies will be able to grab business worth $800 million from the US alone.

Government support

Last year, the finance minister announced a list of incentives for private hospitals to create and upgrade infrastructure, as well as reduce their operational costs:

  • Tax sops to financial institutions lending to private groups setting up hospitals with 100 or more beds.
  • Increase in the rate of depreciation from 25 percent to 40 percent for life-saving medical equipment.

Now, state governments, private hospital groups and even travel agencies have joined the fray.

  • Leading travel houses like Sita and Kuoni have tied up with overseas players that focus on medical tourism.
  • The Karnataka government is setting up Bangalore International Health City Corporation, which will cater to international patients for a wide variety of health care products and treatments.
  • The Asian Heart Institute at Mumbai’s Bandra-Kurla Complex, offers state-of-the art facilities for all types of heart complications. It has been set up in collaboration with the Cleveland Institute, US, and offers quality service at a reasonable cost.

However, it is not only the cost advantage that keeps the sector ticking. It has a high success rate and a growing credibility.

  • Indian specialists have performed over 500,000 major surgeries and over a million other surgical procedures including cardio-thoracic, neurological and cancer surgeries, with success rates at par with international standards.
  • The success rate in the 43,000 cardiac surgeries till 2002 was 98.5 percent.
  • India’s success in 110 bone marrow transplants is 80 percent.
  • The success rate in 6,000 renal transplants is 95 percent.


  • India’s independent credit rating agency CRISIL has assigned a grade A rating to super specialty hospitals like Escorts and multi specialty hospitals like Apollo.
  • NHS of the UK has indicated that India is a favoured destination for surgeries.
  • The British Standards Institute has now accredited the Delhi-based Escorts Hospital.

Apollo Group – India’s largest private hospital chain and Escorts Hospital are now seeking certification from the US-based Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organisations.

Great Indian medical tourism gold rush is here

Great Indian medical tourism gold rush is here: CII, McKinsey

Indian Express: April 8, 2004

Analysts expect the country’s hospitals to rake in around Rs 10,000 crore from overseas patients by 2012.

NEW DELHI: It’s India’s turn to get rich by caring for the world’s sick and needy. A Rs 10,000 crore opportunity in ‘medical tourism’ lies in wait for up market hospitals in exotic locations around the country, a report from CII and McKinsey says.

Many hospitals are well placed to position themselves as ideal health spots for those who fail to manage expensive healthcare accounts in the developed world, the report says. It estimates a Rs 5,000 crore to Rs 10,000 crore market for ‘‘up market tertiary hospitals’’ by 2012, or 3 to 5 pc of the existing healthcare delivery market.

In a break from tradition, CII and McKinsey do not limit this potential revenue-earning to bio-medicine or naturopathy. Says Dr Naresh Trehan, chairman of CII’s National Healthcare Committee, ‘‘Compared with most developed countries such as the UK or the US, treatments like those for dental problems or major procedures like bypass surgery or angioplasty in India come at a fraction of the costs elsewhere.’’ Cardiac Surgery in India, for instance, costs one-tenth of the bills many foot for a similar procedure in North America.

Medical tourists are already visiting India, the report highlights, but its size is small and largely confined to patients from West Asia and South Asia. It could grow rapidly if the industry re-orients itself to actively attract non-Indian patients.

But growth in the sector depends on infrastructure and fund commitments from the government, the study asserts. ‘‘Growth requires commitments by the government to build infrastructure for hospitals, create specialty tourist packages to include medical treatment, and promote hospital accreditation and standardisation,’’ it says.

These hospitals would have to provide state-of-the-art facilities and improve patient care to make the ‘‘overall experience attractive’’ to foreign tourists, it insists.

India has 1.5 beds per 1000 people while China, Brazil and Thailand have an average of 4.3 beds, the study says, adding that healthcare spending could more than double over 2004-2014. Private providers will be the largest component of this spending — rising to Rs 1,560 bn in 2012 from Rs 690 bn.

Were Indian hospitals to also provide health insurance, an additional Rs 390 billion could be gathered in from the rich and middle classes. Also, public spending could double from Rs 170 billion if the government reaches its target health care spending level of 2 percent of the GDP, up from 0.9 percent today, the report promises.

And if the pharma industry does as well as it is expected to, the healthcare market here could expand to Rs 2,320 crore from Rs 1,030 today, it finds.

Some lacunae exist, McKinsey admits, for instance, qualified nurses and doctors perform complex surgeries, but specialists and paramedics are rare, as are uniform industry standards and accreditations.

India can generate $5 billion through health tourism

India can generate $5 billion through health tourism


India has the potential to attract one million health tourists every year and this will contribute up to $5 billion to the economy, the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) said on August 15.

India must leverage its competitive edge, especially its cost advantage, to attract a large number of medical tourists to the country, the CII study report said.

A heart surgery in the U.S. costs $30,000 while the same would incur $6,000 in India. Similarly, bone marrow transplant in the U.S. costs $250,000 while it is $26,000 in India, said the CII report.

“With yoga, meditation, ayurveda, allopathy, and other systems of medicine, India offers a unique basket of services to an individual that is difficult to match by other countries,” it said.

“Also, clinical outcomes in India are at par with the world’s best centres, besides having internationally qualified and experienced specialists.” The lobby group said it was working with the Indian Healthcare Federation (IHCF) and tour operators to promote attractive packages for medical tourism in the country.

india attracted approximately 150,000 patients to the country in the last year.

Thailand with a population of 60 million has been successful in attracting one million health tourists last year because of the development of world-class infrastructure.

According to the CII, the reason behind Thailand managing to tap the health tourism market successfully was aggressive international marketing in conjunction with the tourism authority.

“It has also integrated with traditional medicine and service integration with tourism,” it said, adding India should also replicate the Thai model and capitailise on its strengths to become a world player in medical tourism.

CII said the government should encourage medical tourism by increasing air connectivity linking major cities like News Delhi, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Kolkata and create health support infrastructure.

It is also essential to establish the Indian healthcare brand as synonymous with safety, trust and excellence.

“There is a need to undertake an international marketing campaign targeted at select countries, besides establishing one-stop centres in key markets to facilitate the inflow of foreign patients,” said the report.

“There is also a need to streamline immigration process for medical visitors.

“If India develops its infrastructure to international levels, it will be able to benefit medical services sector and moreover help the world access the Indian medical services.”

By 2020, Tourism in India could contribute Rs 8,50,000 crores to the GDP

In other words, every man, woman and child could become richer by Rs 7,000. India has yet to realise its full potential from tourism. The Travel and Tourism industry holds tremendous potential for India’s economy. It can provide impetus to other industries, create millions of new jobs and generate enough wealth to help pay off the international debt. That is why we have included Tourism amongst the Core Sectors of the Indian Economy.

Incredible India !!

India is probably the only country that offers various categories of tourism. These include history tourism, adventure tourism, medical tourism (ayurveda and other forms of Indian medications), spiritual tourism, beach tourism (India has the longest coastline in the East) etc.

Explore India – choose the locales of your choice, and see what each state has to offer. Lose yourself in the wonder that is India. Meander through lands steeped in chivalry and pageantry that begin before recorded history. Explore modern cities that have grown organically from the roots of a multi-hued past. Make a pilgrimage to holy shrines that echo with tales of antiquity. Frolic on a vast array of golden beaches that dot an enviable coastline, washed by two seas and an ocean. Sport with adventure in style. Let the jungle lure you to a fascinating world at a diverse array of wildlife sanctuaries and national parks……. this is the wonder that is India.

India on the World Map

The Indian tourism industry has not had it so good since the early 1990s. With global recession seeming to have waned decisively, Indian economy growing at around 7% per annum and rise in disposable incomes of Indians, an increasing number of people are going on holiday trips within the country and abroad resulting in the tourism industry growing wings.

It is fast turning into a volume game where an ever-burgeoning number of participants are pushing up revenues of industry players (hotels, tour operators, airlines, shipping lines, etc). Thus, the tourism sector is expected to perform very well in future and the industry offers an interesting investment opportunity for long-term investors.

Despite the numerous problems, tourism industry was the second-largest foreign exchange earner for the country during the year ended March 2003. During 2002, 2.2 million foreigners visited India. Foreign tourist in-flow has risen 20% this year.

India : An Idea who’s time has come

Conde Nast ranked her amongst the top 10 tourist destinations. JBIC ranked her as the fifth most attractive investment destination. The World Social Forum, AdAsia, World Bamboo Congress, Commonwealth Games, Laureus World Sports Academy Global Submit, F1 alongwith some of the biggest expos and conferences of the world chose her to play host.

Presenting India to you Readers. The subcontinent to whose splendor, diversity and world-class facilities the world has finally woken up to. Away from threats, untouched by SARS and politically stable India is the flavor of the season. Take a fresh look at her flourishing economy (double digit growth in third quarter of 2003- 2004), geographically strategic location, faith fortified by major software firms to make it a global backup hub for software, the staggering figure of over 366 national/international level expos and about 100 congress already scheduled for leap year 2004 (of which over 50 in January alone), her forex reserves, her rising Sensex, rapidly growing consumer markets, presence of world’s finest and choicest brands and the exceptional growth in interest from FIIs, to understand why India offers a feel good factor. Truly, India is one of the most exciting emerging markets in the world.

The Scene Till Now

Some major international events like 9/11, US-led war against terror and SARS hit the tourism industry over the past few years. The adverse travel advisories by many countries to their citizens and riots in Gujarat too contributed to a significant slowdown in tourism in India.

There were other negatives too. Consider this- Expenses per night of stay for a tourist in India during the SE Asian currency crisis was $100 whereas it was around $35-40 in the SE Asian countries. This hurt Indian tourism. Though this discrepancy has come down, still there is some gap. Some of the reasons for this are high luxury and entertainment taxes and high landing charges applicable in Indian airports.

Costs are also high because tourism is a state subject. Each state separately spends on tourism and tourism related activities, whereas if these funds were spent in a cohesive manner by a nodal agency to showcase the entire country as one destination, the results would probably have been far more spectacular. Currently, the centre is only allocating finances for tourism projects. But the government is trying to convince states on the benefits of bringing tourism under the aegis of the Central government on to the concurrent subject on to the concurrent list.