Medical value travel, commonly referred to as medical tourism, is the practice of going overseas to receive health and medical services that is either unavailable or unaffordable in the patient’s own nation.
It is not a new concept, but it has gained momentum in recent years due to various factors such as globalization, rising healthcare costs, long wait times, aging population, increasing awareness and demand for complementary therapies.
In 2020-21, Canada topped the Medical Tourism Index due to its tranquil environment and top-notch medical facilities.
Yet, a number of other nations, including India is rapidly gaining popularity and leaving their imprint on the sector. Sanjeev Nanda who is the MD of Ishvan Pharmaceuticals highlights, “Medical tourism includes both the pursuit of high-quality and cost-saving medical treatments.
Medical value travel offers patients the chance to receive medical services that might not be offered or could have lengthy waitlist in their native country.
India is a country that offers international standard health care facilities, inexpensive treatments, alternative medicine options and no waitlists. All of these factors are contributing to its appeal and making it a popular choice worldwide.”
The high-end health care system in India is as good as the best in the world with complex surgical procedures being done in world-class hospitals by acclaimed medical specialists at a much lower cost than other countries.
India has also become a favored destination for yoga and wellness with its focus on traditional therapies through AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy).
Medical value travel is not only beneficial for the patients, but also for the host country. It contributes to the economic growth, employment generation, foreign exchange revenue and cultural exchange of the country.
It also provides an opportunity for the country to showcase its strengths and potentials in various fields of health care and wellness.
One of the key stakeholders in this endeavor is the private sector, especially the entrepreneurs who are innovating and investing in the industry.
Nanda points out, “Medical tourism is a win-win situation for both the patients and the providers. It is an essential component for idealistic health care to address vulnerabilities and disparities of healthcare systems.
It seeks to treat health issues holistically focusing on a patient-centric approach. It aspires to achieve universal health coverage through value-based health care.”
Medical value travel requires multilateral collaborations among various stakeholders such as governments, private sector, academia, media and international organizations.
Multilateral collaborations are imperative for knowledge sharing and formulating framework for accessible, affordable and quality health care.
The market for medical value travel is anticipated to increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.23%, reaching around US$ 54,202 million by 2027.
Currently estimated to be about US$ 5-6 billion, the Indian medical value travel industry is anticipated to reach US$ 13 billion by 2026.
India can be a global hub of medical tourism by offering world-class health care and wellness services with multitude of factors that work in its favour. Sanjeev Nanda of Ishvan Pharmaceuticals asserts, “India has a unique advantage of having a rich heritage of traditional medicine systems along with modern medical advancements.
We have the potential to provide holistic solutions for various health problems that affect millions of people around the world.
We have the opportunity to create a positive impact on their lives by offering them quality care at affordable price, which in turn can place India in the topmost league.”
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