Medical tourism is still nascent in India: Apollo Joint MD Dr Sangita Reddy
New Delhi: Healthcare major Apollo Hospitals Enterprise is expecting medical tourism to be a promising component of its portfolio going forward, a top company official said. To tap into the growing segment, Apollo Hospitals has established international patients division that extended care to around 2 lakh patients in the last fiscal year.
"At Apollo Hospitals, we have established a robust international patients division which has started seeing positive contribution to the group revenue," Apollo Hospitals Group Joint Managing Director Sangita Reddy told.
Medical tourism is still nascent in India. It forms a small yet promising component of the Apollo Hospitals Enterprise portfolio, she added.
"Most of our international patients seek medical treatments for oncology, organ transplant, cardiac procedures, orthopaedics and neurosurgery," Reddy said.
On giving details, she said, at Apollo Hospitals majority of international patients hail from Pacific Islands, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Iraq, Kenya, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Oman, Yemen, Sri Lanka, Uzbekistan, Myanmar and Nepal.
India is poised to become a preferred medical value travel destination and significantly contribute to the economy, she further said.
Niti Aayog has identified medical value travel as one of the major growth drivers and a major source of forex earning, she added.
"Cost effectiveness, focus on advanced medical technology and availability of skilled medical professionals are some of the reasons India is attracting international patients. Indian doctors are delivering care of an international standard at a fraction of the international cost," Reddy said.
As this dynamic industry evolves, India expects to attract medical travellers from diverse countries and demography, she added.
On the steps needed to boost the segment, Reddy said: "While the Indian government has eased visa norms, another crucial area that needs attention is financial transaction process for medical travellers. A streamlined, smooth and easy financial transaction process will offer convenience and enhanced experience to the medical travellers."
The visa on arrival will be a great boost to medical tourism in India, she added.
"An integrated marketing campaign on the lines of 'Incredible India' will help to communicate India's capabilities and advantages as the preferred medical travel destination, Reddy said.