Medical tourism in India has been a key growth sector in India for more than a decade. The country offers the best medical treatments at a relatively affordable cost. Moreover, with the advancement in its medical technology, countless lives have been saved and patient care continues to improve with time.
The neighbouring country Pakistan losing its patients to India has established the latter as one of the world’s foremost medical tourism in India destinations.
Recently, the Pakistan government’s Ministry of Commerce admitted about the decreasing number of neighbouring Afghanistan-based medical tourists to the country. This is mainly due to Pakistan’s border management policy, the problems faced by Afghans in attaining the country’s visa and the ‘unnecessary security’ checks at the Pak-Afghan border crossing point.
The cost of treatment along with the hassle of getting an appointment and accommodation has further added to the problems faced by the patients. Consequently, the Afghan medical tourists have been diverted to North India, including the regions like Punjab for their treatments.
“New Delhi, Gurgaon and Noida have emerged as three preferred cities for thousands of Afghans for treatment purposes. A number of them have also started coming to Punjab. We have performed heart surgery on a couple of Afghan patients,” said Dr Charanjit Singh Pruthi, managing director of Jalandhar-based BBC HeartCare and Capitol Hospital.
Realising the immense potential of medical tourism in India, a number of companies set their foot in the industry over the last few years. Ace entrepreneur Sanjay Dalmia also forayed into medical tourism in India through his medical division — Dalmia Healthcare.
Talking about the increasing scope of medical tourism in India, he said, “Medical tourism is a growing sector in India. We see huge potential in this sector. In October 2015, India’s medical tourism in India sector was estimated to be worth $3 billion. It is projected to grow to $7-8 billion by 2020. We believe not just our country but the entire world can benefit with the growth of this sector.”
Sanjay Dalmia looks forward to establish India as the leading country in healthcare products and services. To fulfil this dream, he encourages the youth and people in the related industry, such as tourism to join him in this mission.
“We are looking forward to creating a strategic alliance with a trusted partner who can facilitate in bringing patients from Iran, Afghanistan, Middle East, Europe including Spain, Mauritius, the US and other countries as well,” said Mr. Sanjay Dalmia.