Medical Value Travel in India: A Value Driven & Patient Centric Initiative
India has emerged as one of the major hub for provision of care to MVT patients. With the given scale of healthcare infrastructure and the projected growth, India can further strengthen its standing among current popular MVT destinations like Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Mexico etc. Various initiatives taken by different stakeholders in the last year have further improved India chances of becoming a ‘provider to the world’. In the last edition of this report, QuintilesIMS recommended initiatives focusing on four key areas viz. Medical visa, Brand India, Medical facilitation and self-regulation by providers.
Government, along with other key stakeholders took number of steps to improve patient experience when he/she comes to India for treatment. Medical visa issuance process has been made efficient thus reducing the time taken in visa procurement. The scope of e-tourist visa has also been expanded to include short term medical treatment. A special category named “e-medical visa” has also been introduced. Separate immigration counters and facilitation desks have also been set up at major Indian airports.
To improve the information availability and promote ‘Brand India’ among patients, a web portal has been dedicated to MVT. It provides comprehensive information to the medical travelers on one platform. Other major accomplishment includes introduction of effective regulation system for medical facilitators. This has led to increase in compliance and hence improved patient experience.
A survey was conducted to gauge perception of India as an MVT nation among the target audience. Relevant stakeholders were asked to rank India on parameters related to Quality medical care, ease and convenience and hospitality.
According to the survey, India has been rated highly on availability of experienced doctors, cost of treatment as well as high standard of quality care. These are the major factors driving medical travel in India. Respondents have also appreciated India’s efforts on improving the visa issuance process and better regulation of the medical travel ecosystem.
The survey also highlights emergence of India as one of the most credible destinations for curative treatment. It further stresses upon the need to regularize the healthcare facilitators, as most patients seek services of facilitators for travel and hospital related information.