Heal In India is an initiative to boost medical tourism in India. This initiative is flagged-off by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to offer affordable medical surgeries to overseas patients. The Compound Annual Growth Rate of the Healthcare sector in India is 22% since 2016, and after this Heal In India Initiative is expected to rise.
The Government of India has allowed 100% FDI in the hospital sector which attracts international VCs and foreign investors to invest in India and bolster the overall healthcare sector. Moreover, the government is also aiming to spend 2.5% of GDP by 2025.
The larger picture depicts that India’s healthcare sector will witness a boom in the coming years and the concerned micro, small and medium-scale businesses will see steady business growth.
In this blog, we are going to discuss how the Heal In India Program will open new doors for healthcare, hospital, and pharmaceutical businesses in India.
Purpose Of the ‘Heal In India’ Initiative
For India, Heal in India Initiative brings double benefits. Firstly, it will give impetus to the local medical/pharmaceutical industry, and secondly, it will bring Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) to India. The best part of the scheme is that overseas patients not only take advantage of allopathy medicines/surgeries but can also take traditional medicines/therapies from Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Sidha, and Homeopathy. This is how the world can heal by utilizing the ancient medicinal knowledge of India.
Impact Of COVID-19
When India was gripped in the clasp of COVID-19 companies like Serum Institute of India, Bharat Biotech, Zydus Cadila, and Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories produced vaccines and helped citizens to be immune against the virus. Moreover, India delivered vaccines to 94 countries and two UN entities under the ‘Vaccine Maitri’ program.
Besides, India leveraged technology in tracking and tracing to restrict the spread of the virus. The open-source Aarogya Setu app was a boon to government agencies, helped them in contact tracing, and was enabled with a feature of self-assessment.
All these initiatives (especially Vaccine Maitri) uplifted the credibility of India and boosted medical tourism in India. Foreign tourist (for medical purpose) arrival increased over 6 times over a decade ending in 2019, said then Minister of State for Tourism, Shri Prahlad Singh Patel in Lok Sabha.
Government Initiatives to Boost Medical Tourism
The following are the initiatives taken by the government to attract overseas patients:
A new segment of visa is introduced called ‘Medical Visa’ specially for foreign travelers visiting India for medical treatment.
The facility of E-Medical Visa is flagged off for 166 countries.
The National Medical & Wellness Tourism Board is constituted to promote the Indian system of medicine i.e AYUSH around the globe in an organized manner.
Platforms such as World Travel Mart, London, ITB, Berlin, and Arabian Travel Mart will be leveraged to promote health and medical tourism in the country.
Why Do Oversea Patients Choose India
One of the major advantages of India is the ability to deliver world-class healthcare facilities and services at affordable prices. Moreover, we offer an alternative healing system that strengthens India’s positioning among its peers.
Following is the comparison of prices of common medical procedures across major travel destinations for medical travel:
|Heart valve replacement||9500||17200||13500||17200||39990||16900|
*Price in USD
Source – NITI AAYOG
Benefits to Overseas Patients for Availing Medical Services In India
There are over 40 countries such as South Korea, Singapore, Philippines, Brazil, etc competing against India, in spite of it, they are likely to choose India due to the following reasons:
The cost of medical services in India is far less than in the US and UK. Compared with our current competitors, the price of almost all the services are lesser (see table above).
The government provides a special visa facility to patients and their blood relatives under which they can visit a maximum of three times during one year of validity of the medical visa.
Despite India’s diversity of languages, English is a widely spoken language. And almost all medical professionals speak English fluently thus, there is no language barrier.
India is home to 39 JCI-accredited hospitals which gives assurance to overseas patients that the service will be the best in the world. Once the treatment is over patients can take guidance via telemedicine.
Top 5 Medical Tourism Destination In India
Following are the top medical destination identified by the Government of India:
According to Wikipedia, 45% of medical tourists prefer Chennai for medical treatment. That is why it is known as India’s Health Capital. The following are the salient features of medical service in Chennai:
- Experienced team of surgeons
- Round-the-clock multilingual helpdesk
- The world’s best medical hospitals are equipped with state-of-the-art infrastructure
Most of the senior doctors in Bangalore have been trained in western countries and its top top-class medical facilities make it one of the top destinations for overseas health tourists.
Delhi’s hospitals have secured rankings in JCI, moreover, one can get minor medical services such as eye surgery to major ones like neurosurgery in the national capital itself.
Mumbai is widely known for its cosmetic surgeries, weight reduction treatment, and Ayurvedic healing. Besides, diagnostic and research centers are opening gradually.
Ahmedabad is home to many multi-specialty hospitals and is steadily rising as a preferred destination for overseas tourists seeking medical services.
Following is the list of cities which will witness an increase in footfall of foreign tourists seeking medical treatments:
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