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With a 40% share the US is the market leader when it comes to the growing medical tourism industry. But there is no reason India can’t become a major player despite its current 3% share of the nearly $100B global industry. India may be best positioned to have a voice in where patients choose to have outstanding medical services because they have the latest in technologies; experienced, well trained physicians with the world class Fortis Hospital System. Today the majority of patients traveling to India for medical reasons actually come for cardiac treatment, cancer treatment, knee replacement and other serious ailments. So the perception that perhaps India is unqualified for treating patients in need of major surgical procedures is diminishing. Cost is, of course must be a major consideration when a patient reviews their medical options globally. For example according to the BusinessWorld report, a heart bypass surgery costs in US dollars $144,000 in the United States, $25,000 in Costa Rice, $24,000 in Thailand, $20,000 in Mexico, $13,500 in Singapore, and $8,500 in India. The quality of care is excellent, there is less waiting time and services are personalized.
Medical tourism is a growing sector in the India economy. With a projected annual growth rate of 30% India’s medical tourism sector is expected go as high as $2 billion a year by 2012. As medical treatment costs in the more developed country’s swell out of proportion, with the United States leading the way, more and more Westerners are finding the prospect of international travel for medical care increasingly appealing. An estimated 150,000 people travel to India each year for “value health care”.
So now with India proving itself as a credible provider of value healthcare (not “cheap health care”), with the western population ageing, and health care becoming more difficult to obtain from a price perspective I expect more people to come from the U.S and other world powers.