Hospitals in Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, and Kochi, which counted on overseas tourists combining tourism care in India, earned a big hit in this segment’s revenues.
For one, Chennai attracted a lion’s share of overseas visitors who were home to several super-specialty hospitals. Chennai used to have about 80 percent of international medical travel before. This has fallen to 10%, which involves people traveling for emergency medical treatment with special travel permits.
This year, the effect of international business on his hospital will be Rs. 10-15 crore. The recovery hinges on easing international travel curbs by the government. Once borders are opened, the increased inpatient admissions will presumably compensate for the rough times.
Bangladesh is said to make up 60 percent of medical tourism arrivals, while Sri Lanka, the Middle East, and the Maldives are other major contributors.
Experts warn that before hoping for a turnaround in the medical tourism scenario, Tamil Nadu will first have to bring down the Covid-19 infection numbers.
Overseas patients account for one-tenth of the sales of his hospital, he said, and in the next 3-4 months, he would not expect an uptick. Industry professionals say that hospitals in the south do not even get interstate patients, leaving international tourists alone. Aster DM Healthcare, which has a broad hospital network throughout Kerala and in Bengaluru and Hyderabad, has been a hub for tourism of medical value.
Rs. 49,000 crores are pegged to be the size of the medical tourism market and are optimistic it will pick up soon given the rise in preventive care awareness.