NEW DELHI: Bangladesh, Afghanistan and the Maldives are the leading source countries for medical tourists. The three countries together account for around 55 per cent share of the Indian medical tourist arrivals in 2017.
Iraq, Oman, Nigeria and Kenya are the other top source markets, while Russia, Tanzania, UAE and Yemen are the emerging source markets.
According to a forecast, Indian medical tourism market is expected to more than double by 2022 from its current size in 2017. India has emerged as a preferred healthcare and wellness destination for patients across the globe.
As medical treatment costs in the developed world balloon – with the United States leading the way – more and more people of the Western countries are finding the prospect of international travel to India for medical care increasingly appealing, said the forecast.
The Indian government has removed many visa restrictions and introduced a visa-on-arrival scheme for medical tourists from selected countries. This allows foreign nationals to stay in India for 30 days for medical reasons and can even get a visa of up to one year depending upon treatment requirements, it said.