Assocham says Weak Rupee a Bonanza for Medical Tourists

New Delhi: Tough fall of rupee-vs-dollar has impacted many sectors of the economy, it has proved to be advantageous to the patients from the Middle East, Africa and SAARC countries to the extent of 35% to 45% on complex surgeries at affordable rates this year, reveals the associated chamber of commerce and industry of India (ASSOCHAM) recent findings.

While releasing the ASSOCHAM paper on “Falling Rupee: Lower Cost of Medical Travel” D S Rawat, Secretary General ASSOCHAM said, the information gathered by ASSOCHAM Social Development Foundation (ASDF) from the various private hospitals, nursing homes etc. It reveals that the inflow of patients has also gone up around 40% during the last six months.

Rawat also said, “the cost of medical treatment in India is already considered to be about the lowest of any medical destination, the current decline in the rupee may bring even more medical tourists to India’s top hospitals”.

The paper further stated that the current market size of the Indian medical tourism sector is about Rs 7,500 crore and likely to touch Rs 12,000 crore by 2015 with 2015 with the growth rate of about 25% per annum.

The inflow of medical tourists in India is also likely to cross 45 lakh by 2015 from the current level of 25 lakh, the report states. The country attracts large number of medical tourists from the Middle East, America, and Europe and also from neighboring countries like Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan, adds the paper.

“Topnotch healthcare facilities like cardiology, joint replacement, orthopedic surgery, transplants and urology at a low price are certain key factors making India a favoured destination in terms of medical tourism,” the study further states.

States like Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and New Delhi are fast emerging as India’s best medical centres with several hospitals and specialty clinics coming up in the cities, added the study.

India is also offering other medical services like yoga, meditation and ayurveda, which is increasingly becoming popular as a non-surgical treatment for various ailments among the foreign patients, adds the paper.

Rawat further added that, “India is witnessing hoards of patients from abroad, who are coming here to undergo complex surgeries at pocket friendly rates”, adds the ASSOCHAM recent assessment.

“The medical procedure that cost a medical tourist US $10,000 in 2010 would now cost around $7,000– a 30 per cent difference. An Australian having the same procedure would also pay 45 per cent less today. Similarly, anyone paying in Euros would save around 25% to 35% in this current scenario, adds the ASSOCHAM paper.

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