USD 6 Billion Market
Even though India has yet to develop a fully dedicated website for marketing its existing super medical facilities to tour operators and medical facilitators, the Indian medical tourism industry is still anticipated to reach a value of US$ 6 billion by 2018, boosting the number of medical tourists arrivals in India to a projected level of 4 lakh in next four years.
The aforesaid estimates are condensed in a paper on Medical and Wellness Tourism, brought out by PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry in collaboration with RNCOS, however, adds that the Indian medical tourism industry in value terms would be growing at CAGR of 20 per cent between 2014-18. Currently, the size of medical tourism industry in India in value term is estimated at little over US$ 3 billion with tourists arrivals estimated at 2.3 lakh.
Commenting on the findings of the paper, Mr. Sharad Jaipuria, President, PHD Chamber said that since Indian corporate hospitals enjoyed a large pool of skilled doctors, nurses and supporting staff and with its highly skilled doctors coupled with their relevant international exposure, prospects of ballooning the size of its medical tourism would go up many a time in longer future too.
“The vast pool of medical professionals, expanding private healthcare infrastructure, growing technical expertise, cheaper medical procedures, world class healthcare infrastructure and government support are likely to boost the number of medical tourists arrivals in India to a projected level of 4 lakh by 2018”, said Mr. Jaipuria.
The paper, however, also points out that one of the biggest factors, retarding the industry growth in today’s era of web/internet/cloud computing is the fact that Indian government has yet not devised and developed a fully dedicated website for medical tourism, where PAN India public/private hospitals, tour operators, medical facilitators are listed with all their specialists and best of the doctors.
As of now, a foreign resident has to go hospital by hospital surfing their websites and then deciding how to go about the medical treatment they are looking to avail in India.
It also further states that in India, there is a stark lack of interoperability. For instance, if a medical patient got treated at one hospital for an ailment and he/she wants to switch to another hospital for another ailment, then the underlying procedure of document preparation, transfer, billing, shifting is in itself a challenge. This is basically because not all the hospitals have implemented computerized systems like hospital management information system (HIMS) and associated software packages in their administrative framework.