India is one among the top five medical tourist spots in the world having hosted nearly 166,000 medical tourists from across the globe in 2012, said a PHD Chamber’s Medical and Wellness Tourism Report released on Friday.
The medical tourism industry in India is expected to reach an estimated value of $6 billion (`36,060 crore) by 2018, it added.
“The growth of medical tourism in India has led to the enhancement of better and advanced medical facilities in the country. More tourists are coming to India because cost of treatment here is much less compared to the US and the European countries. We are also trying to integrate medical tourism with normal tourism,” said Parvez Dewan, secretary, ministry of tourism, government of India.
“The guidelines for the new electronic visa has been finalized last week and we are also in support of offering incentives for the promotion of medical and wellness tourism,” he added.
The report further mentions that highly-skilled doctors coupled with improvement in medical infrastructure are attracting medical tourists.
The union ministry of health and family welfare is also trying to engage international agencies for the promotion of alternative and traditional medicine.
“We are trying to get a foothold in the promotion of traditional medicine like Ayurveda and yoga in around the world with the help of World Health Organization (WHO).
Promotion of herbal industry and propagating cultivation of medicinal plants is done with all seriousness,” said Nilanjan Sanyal, secretary, department of AYUSH.