India is the top global destination for medical tourism, according to a new market research report.
A study on the Indian Healthcare sector, conducted by RNCOS, has revealed the country's medical tourism market to be worth over $310 million, expected to rise to $2 billion by 2012.
Medical infrastructure and technology in India accepted to be on a par with the UK and the US and the efficient services and affordable hospital expenses make it an attractive choice for patients seeking treatment abroad.
Figures show that 120,000 overseas patients travelled to India in 2005 to receive private medical treatment and this is expected to rise by 30 per cent.
The most common treatments that visitors seek are heart surgery, knee surgery, cosmetic surgery and dental care, procedures which patients may not be eligible for under the NHS system and which generally have long waiting lists in the UK.
RNCOS concluded: "The healthcare industry overview shows that the medical infrastructure and technology in [India] is in par with those in USA, UK and Europe.
"India can vie with some of its best hospitals and treatment centres in the world and therefore make it a favourable destination."