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Indian med tourism expected to grow from $3 bn to $7-8 bn by 2020: CII – Grant Thornton study

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The study focuses on Kerala’s medical tourism and reveals that the state is able to attract only five per cent of these medical tourists currently

With rising healthcare costs in developed countries, medical tourism in India is expected to grow from a current market size of $3 billion to $7-8 billion by 2020, finds CII – Grant Thornton whitepaper – Transformative Evolution: From ‘wellness’ to ‘medical wellness’ tourism in Kerala which was launched today at the fifth edition of Kerala Health Tourism 2015. The study which focuses on Kerala’s medical tourism reveals that the state is able to attract only five per cent of these medical tourists currently and has the potential to increase its share to a 10-12 per cent of the overall market with a well thought out and focussed marketing strategy.

“We strongly believe that the existing tourism and leisure infrastructure of the state, combined with accredited medical infrastructure and competitive pricing is one of the primary drivers of medical value tourists in the state. With exemplary medical value travel (MVT) performance by adjoining countries and adjoining states, Kerala is poised to monetise its wellness status by laying an equal emphasis on building accredited infrastructure and attracting and utilising state bred medical talent to provide world class medical facilities capable of servicing a floating medical population,” said Vishesh Chandiok, National Managing Partner, Grant Thornton India LLP.

The study suggests that the key factor driving the medical value tourism in Kerala will be availability of national as well as globally accredited facilities across the entire state, an area where Kerala lags behind when compared to the states of Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, NCR and AP. Accreditations (whether JCI or NABH) and positive clinical outcomes, are often considered the benchmarks for evaluating facilities across the globe and provides a quality conscious patient the confidence and security about positive clinical outcomes.

Dr Azad Moopen, Chairman, Kerala health tourism 2015 said, “Kerala is well poised for tapping the billion dollar medical tourism opportunity, with several accredited facilities and is witnessing a large development boom of private medical healthcare facilities. A liberal social and tourist friendly environment, combined with traditional hospitality of the state and an outstanding tourism infrastructure, makes Kerala an ideal destination for medical value tourism.”

“Clearly through the efforts of the state, Kerala is already one of the most preferred tourist destination in the country. For medical value tourism, however, there is a clear need to build and upgrade infrastructure which meets the five criteria that a global patient looks out for – cost competitiveness, gold standards in accreditations, positive clinical outcomes, focused international patients pathway and the availability of complex surgical multi-speciality services. Building mini medi-cities across the state meeting all of these criteria is the key stepping stone for Kerala arriving on the MVT global roadmap” said Vrinda Mathur, Partner, Grant Thornton India LLP.

While Bangladesh and Afghanistan dominate the MVT arrivals in India (34 per cent of total arrivals), patients from Africa, Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) nations currently constitute only 30 per cent of the total arrivals and currently seem to prefer alternative corridors of South East Asia. The whitepaper suggests that tapping a larger share of the health wallet of the African, Asian, Middle East patients as well as welcoming tourists from other regions and countries needs to be followed as a national marketing campaign with the active support of the government and private sector.

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