2023 Boom Year For Medical Tourism
2023 is expected to be a booming year for medical tourism. Pent up demand, inflation increasing cost of treatments in the western countries, and the Ukraine Russia war driving more patients from both countries for treatments to India, are key factor because of which this sector is expected to grow 21 per cent in 2023.
In addition, the government’s initiatives of accrediting Ayush centers and launching ayush evisa, will further boost India’s medical tourism sector in the wellness space which is seeing global revival post covid. Besides this, increased attention on mental issues and recession related stress may result in significant increase in ayurvedic patients to India.
Another noticeable trend is the increased demand for IVF treatments from India, which has seen unprecedented demand post covid. Fertility issues are wide spread across the developed world and more couples are now opting for IVF to make up for treatment gaps during Covid.
To add momentum to all these growth factors, the Indian government is expected to launch its Heal in India campaign in 2023, allocating over 2000 crores in budgets under the champion service sector to promote medical tourism to India and scale it from $6 billion currently to $13 billion by 2025.
India’s top competition in the space comes from Turkey and Thailand, which offers similar treatments with more attractive tourist attractions and easier visa norms. With both these countries allocating large budgets towards Health Tourism, the global competition for quality health services with notch up, giving even better experience and options to patients.
2023 is expected to see a multitude of startups in the space raising capital, riding on renewed investor interest in Health and Travel sectors post covid. Startups such as Healthtrip and Qunomedical had already announced investments in 2022 and would be expected to raise larger rounds in 2023 to capture the global market in Health Tourism.
However, which global demand for better healthcare is increasing at unprecedented rates, increase in dollar prices and fuel costs may effect growth rates in 2023, despite the fact that most patients coming to India represent the rich class in their countries.
Inversely, further reduction in fuel or dollar prices will also increase demand for medical and health tourism, propelled by other factors mentioned before.
Medical tourism to India started in the early 2000s when healthcare started seeing corporate chains like Apollo, Fortis and Max group emerge to serve Indian and foreign patients. Two decades on, India’s healthcare brand is established worldwide and the sector is now getting much-deserved government support.
Medical tourism growth will also encourage investment in world-class equipment, robotic surgery and new AI-enabled technologies which will attract further patients, both domestically and internationally.
As we enter 2023, India stand best suited to rapidly scale it’s medical tourism industry with all the right building blocks in place including hospitals, Ayush clinics, airports, startups, government policies and increasing demand across the world. Let’s hope this year provides the right propulsion to push this sector from $6 billion to $13 billion in the next 4 years.