Medical value travel (MVT) in India is expected to get a major boost in 2023 on the back of pent-up demand, soaring cost of treatment in the West because of inflation, besides the Russia-Ukraine war driving more patients from both countries for medical care to India. In addition, the government’s initiatives under the ‘Heal in India’ scheme — of accrediting Ayush centers and launching Ayush e-visa — is also expected to fuel MVT in the wellness space which has revived after the Covid-19 pandemic. The Indian economy could add an additional $9 billion by 2026 with the use of traditional medicine, wellness, therapeutic use of Ayurveda, yoga and wellness, combined with a focus on the curative aspects of healthcare. Overall, the global MVT market is projected to grow from $13.98 billion in 2021 to $53.51 billion in 2028 at a CAGR of 21.1 percent in the forecast period of 2021-2028. According to the Medical Tourism Association (MTA), every year around 14 million people globally travel to other countries for medical treatment. India is clearly poised for a greater share of the MVT pie. In the MTA’s Medical Tourism Index (MIT) India is ranked 10th out of the 46 global destinations, 12th in 20 wellness tourism markets, and 5th in the wellness tourism market in APAC. According to the data from the Indian Institute of Public Administration (IIPA), approximately 6,97,453 medical tourists visited India in 2019 alone for medical treatment, and by 2023, India is expected to account for 6 percent of the global MVT market share.
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