Despite the global economic downturn, medical tourism has emerged as the fastest growing sector of the Indian tourism industry as it provides first world treatment to patients at an affordable rates.
Medical costs in India are only 1/3rd or 1/4th of the costs at comparable hospitals in the US, Europe or South Africa, a medical referrals agency said today.
Over 3,00,000 patients have so far come to India for medical treatments from over 30 countries this year earning the country over Rs 8,500 crore in revenue, it said.
"The Indian medical tourism industry is at a nascent stage, but has an enormous potential for future growth and development. This sector has the highest growth potential after IT and BPO and will bracket India among the world's elite healthcare providers," Aarex India, said.
Aarex India is a leading medical referrals agency which receives over 200 enquiries every month from all over the world.
Medical tourism is expected to generate revenue of Rs 10,000-crore by 2012 and over 3,50,000 patients from across the world are expected to come to India for treatment, it said.
Aarex India said countries like the US, UK, Canada, Russia, the Middle-East, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Mauritius and the Central Asian Republics are preferring India's affordable medical tourism.