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Medical tourism is the emerging trend which is accelerating the travel sector in India
In India, tourism has been seeing a year on year growth; there has been an increase in domestic travellers as well as foreigners travelling to India. India also attracts patients from several countries for medical treatment.

Medical tourism or health and wellness tourism refers to the industry where people from across the world travel to other countries to get medical, dental or surgical care and at the same time also visit local attractions of that country.

Out of the total medical tourism across the globe, approximately 63 per cent is shared between Singapore, Thailand and India with Singapore and Thailand being the leaders in the field.

India has seen a regular growth in medical tourists and from 2013-16, the medical visas issued annually have grown from 1.22 lakh to 1.78 lakh.

Following are some of the reasons why people choose India for seeking treatment:

- World class facilities and services available in India

- Good qualified doctors

- Cost (Some of the major surgeries in India cost 10-20 per cent of the cost incurred in Western countries)

- No waiting period for treatment

Some challenges which need to be addressed for attracting more and more patients and making India as the most preferred medical tourism hub:

- Improve perception on hygiene and service across the globe

- Ensure quality and service

- Step down facilities for post-surgical care for recovery. India lacks in centers that can take care of recovery needs post treatment and the patient has to spend more days at a hospital.

- Medical visa-procedure for obtaining medical visas needs simplification as it can get quite cumbersome as per current regulations

Based on statistics released by the government, Delhi, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu are the top destinations for visitors travelling for medical treatment. Chennai, Mumbai and Delhi have a large number of quality hospitals and take the maximum share of the pie as of today. These cities have several hospitals to choose from and offer good connectivity across the globe.

Medical tourism or health and wellness tourism can be divided in to 2 different categories:

  1. Curative: This is where the traveller's come in for specific treatment, a few of such ailments are listed below:

i. Cardiac surgeries including bypass

ii. Knee / hip replacement surgeries

iii. Orthopedic surgeries

iv. Cosmetic surgeries

v. Ophthalmolo

  1. Rejuvenation: Traveller's want to explore holistic and ancient treatment methodsespeciallythe traditional medicine systems offered in India. A few such traditional medicine systems are:

i. Ayurveda

ii. Yoga

iii. Siddha

iv. Yunani

v. Naturopathy

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