The International Wellness and Healthcare Travel Association (IWHTA) recently analysed where Indian medical tourists come from. Their analysis confirms that although Europe and the USA are often mentioned as a source of medical tourists, together they only account for one in ten travelers. The analysis provides the following breakdown:
• Bangladesh/Nepal/Sri Lanka 19%
• Iraq 18 %
• Middle East 16 %
• Africa 9%
• Afghanistan 9%
• Europe 6%
• USA 4%
• * Non resident Indians from all countries 22%
Naresh Jadeja of IWHTA also analyses the current position of India:
• The last five years has changed Indian hospitals and services by adding thousands of hospital beds and a number of world-class hospitals with state of the art health care and technology.
• Many Indian hospitals are not attracting international patients not because they are not up to the mark but because they are running at their capacity as both health insurance and the healthcare demands of India’s middle class rocket.
• Although the Indian health care industry is advertising less it is enjoying a substantial share of international patients from around the world. More than 580 multi specialty hospitals and over 400 single specialty clinics in India are treating international patients.
• A key market is non-resident Indians who visit their home town every year or every other year and opt for diagnostic and wellness tourism activities as it is time consuming and costly in their countries. Hospitals promoting executive checkups are trying to build trust through feel good visits to show people their quality commitment and technology.
• IVF and infertility procedures are offered by hundreds of clinics in India.
• Alternative medicine such as yoga and ayurveda is very popular and wellness treatments are attracting many visitors. Hotels with these options and medical spas are in big demand.
• Dental tourism is a growth area.
• There are two totally different types of patients going to Indian hospitals. Those from less developed countries do not expect any added services or soft skills from medical staff, but those from developed countries do expect this and more.