Over the past few years, India has been consistently featured among the fastest-growing economies in the world, creating a distinction for itself in various spheres, including medical tourism.

Rapid Growth in Medical Tourism

The number of tourists coming to India for medical treatment is expected to reach 7.3 million in the calendar year (CY) 2024, up from an estimated 6.1 million in the CY 2023, according to statistics issued by credit rating agency CRISIL. India is currently the second-largest medical tourism hub in Asia, coming in at number 10 out of the top 46 nations on the Medical Tourism Association’s 2021–22 Medical Tourism Index.

Role of Startups in Boosting Accessible Healthcare

In order to meet this growing need, Indian hospitals are investing in building supply chains; nevertheless, entrepreneurs are also contributing to the expansion of locally and internationally accessible healthcare. By developing an end-to-end offering that covers everything from case detailing to arranging medical visas, travel, logistics, translators, specialist food, simple payments, insurance claims, tourism, and more, startups are playing a crucial role.

Factors Driving Medical Tourism in India

This expansion is being fueled by a number of important elements, such as top-notch medical facilities, extremely reasonably priced and specialized care, a sizable English-speaking population, simple visa procedures supported by government initiatives, accessibility to alternative medicine, and tourist attractions.

Through the Heal in India project, the Indian government is positioning Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddha, and Homeopathy as complementary and alternative forms of medicine to modern science, aiming to meet the growing need for holistic therapies for chronic illnesses and lifestyle issues worldwide.

Cost Savings with World-Class Treatments

Patients from across the globe are looking at India for treatments in cardiology, oncology, orthopedics, fertility, dental, and aesthetics. These procedures are available at relatively lower costs compared to developed economies.

The vast network of globally and nationally accredited hospitals, equipped with world-class doctors, facilities, and caregivers, ensures the highest standards of care and treatments.

India has over 1,600 hospitals accredited by the National Accreditation Board for Hospitals & Healthcare Providers (NABH) and 45 hospitals accredited by the Joint Commission International and 184 AYUSH hospitals for alternate treatments.

Active oversight from government bodies ensures that the entire ecosystem operates efficiently and transparently in the patient’s interest while enhancing India’s credibility in the healthcare sector.

Startups as Catalysts for Growth

India is the world’s third-largest startup ecosystem with a total of 92,684 startups officially recognized by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), as of February 2023.

Many home-grown startups are now focusing on disrupting the way healthcare is consumed and delivered in India while also focusing on affordability enhancement solutions for both domestic and international patients.

As seen in other industries, the entry of startups in traditional domains can enhance a breath of fresh air to ongoing processes, and the same is likely to be true for medical care combined with tourism opportunities. This requires a combination of technology innovation, service excellence, and aggregation capabilities.

Enhancing Patient Experience

Many insurance plans do not cover procedures performed abroad, leaving patients to bear the full cost. However, there are certain platforms that can help provide no-cost EMIs for preventive healthcare, IVF, derma treatments, and much more.

Startups are also developing platforms that aggregate and verify accreditation statuses of hospitals and clinics, ensuring adherence to international standards. Some startups also offer patient reviews and ratings that help potential patients make informed decisions based on past patient experiences.

This makes for an extremely compelling proposition both for patients and providers and can lead to significantly seamless experiences, enabled by a technology-first approach.

Future Prospects

This confluence of governmental policy, keen interest by hospital providers, and disruptive solutions by startups will further accelerate the pace of India’s growth in this burgeoning sector, thereby establishing India’s dominance in the global medical tourism market.India’s rise as a medical tourism hub is a testament to the combined efforts of various stakeholders, including the government, healthcare providers, and startups. The country’s ability to offer world-class medical treatments at affordable prices, coupled with the advancements in technology and service delivery by startups, positions India as a leading destination for medical tourists worldwide. As this sector continues to grow, it will not only boost the economy but also enhance India’s reputation as a global leader in healthcare and wellness.

Read more: Marketing NewsAdvertising News, PR and Finance NewsDigital News


Rishi Malhotra, an adept editor at Atom News, specializes in travel and cultural affairs. With a global perspective and a flair for storytelling, Malhotra brings diverse perspectives to our readers, making Atom News a go-to source for enriching travel narratives.