Medical Tourism Promising Component Of Apollo Hospitals’ Portfolio: Sangita Reddy
India’s largest hospital operator Apollo Hospitals Enterprise Ltd. sees medical tourism as a promising component of its portfolio going forward, according to a top company official.
To tap into this growing segment, Apollo Hospitals has established an international patients division, which extended care to around 2 lakh patients in the last fiscal year.
"At Apollo Hospitals, we have established a robust international patients division which has started seeing positive contribution to the group revenue," Sangita Reddy, joint managing director at Apollo Hospitals Group, said. "Most of our international patients seek medical treatments for oncology, organ transplant, cardiac procedures, orthopaedics and neurosurgery.”
A majority of these international patients are from Pacific Islands, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Iraq, Kenya, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Oman, Yemen, Sri Lanka, Uzbekistan, Myanmar and Nepal, she added.
According to Reddy, India is poised to become a preferred destination for medical tourism, a sector that can contribute significantly to the economy. The govenrment’s think-tank, NITI Aayog, has identified the segment as one of the major growth drivers and a major source of forex earning, she added.
"Cost effectiveness, focus on advanced medical technology and availability of skilled medical professionals are some of the reasons India is attracting international patients. Indian doctors are delivering care of an international standard at a fraction of the cost," Reddy said.
As this dynamic industry evolves, India expects to attract medical travellers from diverse countries and demography, she said.
"While the Indian government has eased visa norms, another crucial area that needs attention is the financial transaction process for medical travellers. A streamlined, smooth and easy financial transaction process will offer convenience and enhanced experience to the medical travellers," Reddy said.
A visa on arrival for medical tourists will be a great boost to medical tourism in India, she added. "An integrated marketing campaign on the lines of 'Incredible India' will help to communicate India's capabilities and advantages as the preferred medical travel destination.”