India as the Destination for Medical Tourism

Medical Tourism


More and more people are choosing to come to India for healthcare services. Why is this so? The blog analyses the multitude of reasons which make India a preferred healthcare destination.

What exactly is meant by medical tourism? Medical tourism refers to the practice of travelling to other countries in search of healthcare services. India attracts around 1.4 million people each year who come to the country seeking healthcare. This number is only expected to increase. People from Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nigeria and Maldives to mention just a few, visit India for the high-quality medical services it provides.

But why do so many people travel all the way to India for medical purposes? The reasons are many but the most important one is that India provides high-quality care at affordable costs. A surgical procedure done in India would cost the patient only a tenth of what he would have to pay in the U.S. Indeed, India is a saviour for people from low-income countries who would not be able to access quality healthcare otherwise.

The factors that influence people’s decision to come to India are discussed in detail below:


  • Treatments in India cost significantly lesser than the corresponding treatments in the U.S or U.K.
  • However, it is important to note that the quality is in no way compromised and this plays a significant role in people’s decision to travel to India seeking medical care.
  • Even with the cost of airfare, accommodation and food included, the total cost in India still works out cheaper.
  • As a result, India makes a huge difference to people who would otherwise not have access to life-saving treatments.

World Class Amenities

  • India might be categorized as a developing nation but this in no way affects the healthcare services available here.
  • State-of-the-art equipment and the use of the latest technologies, both of which are on par with the best hospitals in the world, influence people’s decision to travel to India for health services.
  • There is no doubt about the quality of healthcare provided here.
  • India is home to hospitals that are recognized internationally and which uncompromisingly follow all safety and quality protocols.
  • Be it standalone centres specializing in a particular health service or multispecialty hospitals, India provides many quality options to medical tourists.

Highly Qualified Doctors

  • India is known globally for its skilled doctors.
  • We also have many doctors who have done their higher education in the West, and have gained experience working there, before moving back to India.
  • Our highly qualified and experienced pool of doctors thus ensure that every patient receives the best of care.
  • This acts as a huge draw for medical tourists who can rest assured that the doctor treating them is competent.

Superior Nursing & Caregiving Staff

  • India’s nursing staff needs no introduction.
  • They are educationally qualified, hard-working and well-trained and are sought after by other countries.
  • However, what many may not know is that our caregiving support staff too is extremely capable and goes above and beyond what is expected of them.
  • After a surgical procedure, when the patient has returned to his country, it is the support staff that coordinates follow-up care.
  • Accessible online, they ensure continuity of care which would otherwise be a huge problem for patients who have returned to their homeland.

Short Waiting Time

  • It is a known fact that people living abroad have a tough time getting an appointment with a specialist as there is a protocol that has to be followed.
  • Sometimes, the waiting time for an appointment can be as long as 3 weeks or more and the waiting time for a surgical procedure can be even more than that.
  • For elective procedures, the waiting time could run into months.
  • This problem is completely overcome in Indian hospitals.
  • Patients do not have to wait for procedures and can get it done at their convenience.
  • This is a huge gain for patients and plays a big role in their choice of India as a healthcare destination.
  • Patients exasperated with the waiting time in their countries find India with its expedited treatment to be a welcome change of pace.

Language Is Not a Barrier

  • Along with the local language, English is spoken in almost all hospitals in India and even the common man can manage to understand and talk in the language.
  • Health tourists who come here can manage very well if they are comfortable in English.
  • If at all they do not converse in English, most hospitals arrange for translators who can communicate with the patient in his local language and coordinate with the hospital staff.
  • This is very important in a medical scenario as it is essential for the doctor to know the patient’s complaints, medical history, etc.
  • Thus, every effort is made to make the patient feel comfortable during his visit.
  • The multicultural nature of our country also plays an important role in making patients feel comfortable.
  • Often, patients compliment India for its hospitality and broad-minded culture.

Visa Process Is Simplified

  • Compared to Western countries where visa approval can be an ordeal, the process for getting an Indian visa is a lot simpler.
  • India has medical visas meant specifically for people coming to the country for healthcare services.
  • For people with life-threatening conditions, the visa is expedited and the waiting time is minimal.
  • As the visa process is simpler, and more importantly shorter, a patient in dire need of healthcare can travel to India and get his condition evaluated and treated quicker.

Pharmacy of the World

  • India is often hailed as the pharmacy capital of the world.
  • The tag is indeed apt as was justified during the pandemic when India produced her own vaccines and even supplied them to the rest of the world.
  • India is known for producing high-quality yet affordable generic drugs that help in lowering the overall cost of treatment.

The Health Capital of India

Chennai, known as the cultural capital of India, is also fast becoming the health capital of the country. The city is well-connected and has a legacy of offering the best medical services. The doctors, nurses and support staff are known for their experience as well as expertise. Consistently successful clinical outcomes and adherence to top-quality practices have played a huge role in shaping this city’s healthcare success.