Medical tourism or Health Travel is provision of 'cost effective' private medical care in collaboration with the Tourism Industry for patients requiring surgical (invasive) or non-surgical (non-invasive) or other super-specialized medical treatment. This concept of health tourism is jointly facilitated by the corporate sector involved in medical and healthcare as well as the tourism industry – both public sector as well as private players. In the current era Medical tourism is fast shaping up as a common form of vacationing, and covers a broad spectrum of medical services. A combination of many factors has affected the popularity of medical tourism. Some of the prominent reasons being:
- Favorable currency exchange rates in the rapidly developing global economy
- Rapidly improving technology
- High standards of medical care in the developing countries
- Personalised care
- Improvement in awareness levels of people globally
India has originated as one of the most important hubs for medical tourism. Many people from the first world or developed countries come down to India for the rejuvenation promised by mighty Yoga, Ayurvedic therapies and other natural therapies. However, a rich blend of top-notch medical expertise at attractive pricing is playing a major role in India's development as a global Medical Tourism hub. Indian corporate hospitals receive a regular flow of non-resident Indians as well as foreign patients, including patients from developed nations such as the UK and the US, for surgeries like Cardiac By Pass Surgery (CABG), Valve Replacement, Knee / Hip Joint Replacement, Cosmetic Dentistry & Dental Procedures, Cosmetology & Cosmetic Surgery, Faciomaxillary surgeries etc.
Greater number of patients from Europe, USA and African subcontinent countries with high medical costs look for effective options, health tourism's growth in India is certain. The fast growing Indian corporate health sector is fully geared to deliver and meet the high international standards.
Beyond cost savings or the high standard of medicare facility, the waiting time also takes it's toll. Wait time is much lower for any treatment in India than in most first world country. Medical attention is often an emergency and the patient's situation may turn worse if the treatment is delayed. While one may need to wait for several months to undergo a surgical procedure in the Western Country, in India the same can be carried out without any wait time.