- India is taking steps to position itself as a global hub for medical and wellness tourism.
- The Heal in India initiative aims to boost the country’s standing as a leading destination for medical tourists.
- India’s medical tourism market will continue to facilitate medical tourism from predominantly low-income nations.
- India will seek to entice international patients over well-established regional competitors including Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore.
- A lack of sufficient government regulation is a key downside risk to growth in India’s medical tourism market, although the announcement of a new government portal will seek to ease concerns.
India is aiming to position itself as a global hub for medical and wellness tourism, seeking to take advantage of the resumption in global tourism amid two years of Covid-19 pandemic-related disruptions. Medical tourism is the term used to describe people seeking elective and non-emergency medical treatment in a country other than where they reside. It is driven by consumers in developed economies seeking an equivalent level of healthcare for a lower cost than what is available in their own countries and by consumers in developing economies seeking a higher quality of healthcare services abroad. As part of the country’s aim to becoming a global hub, India will focus on developing its healthcare infrastructure and leveraging affordable costs of medical procedures to attract international medical tourists.
Through the ‘Heal in India’ campaign, India’s government aims to boost the country’s standing as a leading destination for medical tourists. In January 2022, the ‘Heal in India’ medical tourism campaign was launched by India’s tourism ministry in Dubai. The campaign focuses on building medical travellers confidence in India’s healthcare professionals and services, as well as ensuring quality control measures in the sector. In April 2022, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi promoted the ‘Heal in India’ campaign and also spoke of a new special visa category for those visiting India for medical or wellness therapies. Also as part of the ‘Heal in India’ initiative, the Medical Value Travel Council of India, co-chaired by the health and tourism ministries was formed. The council is tasked with creating an institutional framework to streamline integration between all stakeholders.