It is advantage India in promoting medical tourism.
According to CII, India has the potential to attract
1 million tourists per annum, which could contribute
up to US$ 5 billion to the economy.
CII is of the opinion
that India must leverage its competitive edge, especially
its cost advantage. It is only 1/5th to 2/5th of costs
in the West, says CII. A Heart Surgery in the US costs
US$ 30,000 while it costs US$ 6,000. Bone marrow transplant
in the US costs US$ 2, 50,000 while it is US$ 26,000
in India, CII points out.
According to CII, India is unique as it offers holistic medicinal services. With yoga, meditation, ayurveda, allopathy, and other systems of medicines, India offers a unique basket of services to an individual that is difficult to match by other countries, says CII. Also, clinical outcomes in India are at par with the world's best centers, besides having internationally qualified and experienced specialists.
CII along with Indian Healthcare Federation (IHCF) is working with tour operators to promote attractive packages for Medical tourism. Last year, according to rough estimates, India was able to attract approximately 1.5 lakh patients to the country, but has potential for much more. CII and IHCF will suggest a list of reputed hospitals in major cities, having good air connectivity, with details of their service to the Government. CII will further suggest uniform price band in major specialties, which are indicative pricing, to the Government. This would facilitate foreign patients seeking treatment in India. However, accreditation of Indian hospitals is quintessential for medical tourism, adds CII.
A case study done by CII has revealed that Thailand with a population of 60 million has been successful in attracting 1 million health tourists last year because of the development of world-class infrastructure. According to CII, the success story behind Thailand's tapping the health tourism market is due to aggressive international marketing in conjunction with tourism authority. It has also integrated with traditional medicine and service integration with tourism.
CII believes that India should also replicate the Thai model and capitailise on its inherent strengths to become a world player in medical tourism.
CII in association with Indian Healthcare Federation is working closely with the Government to evolve an enabling strategy to project India as a world class health care destination.
CII has also suggested that government should encourage medical tourism by increasing air connectivity linking major cities like Delhi, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Kolkata, and create health support infrastructure.
CII says that it is also essential to establish the Indian healthcare brand 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. There is also a need to streamline immigration process for medical visitors, adds CII.
CII is also of the opinion that 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.