Image for representation. Photograph:( Zee News Network )
The global MVT market estimated at 54 billion dollars is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 13 per cent until 2025
As healthcare turns costlier in developed countries, India's medical value travel (MVT) market is expected to reach a volume of nine billion dollars (about Rs 65,000 crore) by next year, according to a new knowledge paper released by industry body FICCI.
The global MVT market estimated at 54 billion dollars is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 13 per cent until 2025. With its growing emphasis, several Asian countries have developed ecosystems necessary to become an MVT hub.
"Among these economies, India is viewed as one of the preferred destinations and holds the fifth position among 41 major medical tourism destinations," said the paper titled 'India: Building Best Practices in Healthcare Services Globally' prepared in collaboration with consulting major Ernst & Young.
The key drivers of growth of MVT are affordability and accessibility of good healthcare services, availability of the latest medical technologies and accreditations, facilitation around hospitality services and minimal waiting time.
The report says India is more affordable in terms of medical treatment and travel when compared to western countries. Medical travellers can save up to 50 per cent as the average daily cost of travel within India is 31 dollars (about Rs 2,232) compared to the United States having 223 dollars (about Rs 16,056).
Besides, the quality of medical service is one of the hallmarks of India's position in global MVT. Currently, there are 38 hospitals accredited by the Joint Commission International (JCI) and 619 accredited by the National Accreditation Board for Hospitals and Healthcare Providers (NABH).
Even being affordable, the mortality rate after 30 days of surgery is less in India (1.4 per cent) compared to the United States (1.9 per cent) which shows the quality of post-operative care provided by the Indian health service providers.
However, there is a need to improve on post-operative care in terms of environment, hygiene and precautions required after a patient is being operated, said the report.
Besides, India is performing low when it comes to regulations. As of today, there are no regulations applicable to the industry pertaining to facilitators, hospitals, insurance, legal or medical issues, and promotion activities carried out by stakeholders.
"With a lack of regulations, MVT in India might not be able to thrive at a steady pace. Hence, the formulation of regulations is important to make this industry sustainable," said the report.
Significantly, there are no government-to-government institutional arrangements between India and patient source countries. The institutional tie-ups are maintained by hospitals and facilitators without government interference.
In addition, there is no grievances or redressal mechanism in place for international patients to raise any complaints. There is no policy arrangement in place to insure patients in case of unexpected complications in treatment.
Gaurav Taneja, National Director and Leader for Government and Public Sector practice at EY India, said the government must form institutions for regulation and implementation of MVT. There is a need to build a robust platform for patients to interact with different stakeholders of the industry and define a code of conduct for MVT business.
"With a branding and marketing campaign 'Heal in India,' I am sure the country will elevate its existing position to rank among the most preferred MVT destinations," he said in the report.