Tuesday, 28 September, 2021

One in 3 foreign patients in India from Bangladesh: Report

Of the 460,000 inbound patients to Indian hospitals, more than 165,000 were from Bangladesh in 2015-16 making Bangladesh the largest foreign user of India's health services.


Over 58,000 medical visas were issued to Bangladeshi nationals in 2015-16. They bought $0.34 billion worth of services, Indian media Business Standard reported on Wednesday quoting a recent report by the Directorate-General of Commercial Intelligence and Statistics.


Since 2016, Bangladesh has unseated the US as the origin of the highest number of foreign tourists, mostly due to medical tourism, the report reveals.


A new bus service between Dhaka and Kolkata and a rail link between Kolkata and Khulna in Bangladesh were inaugurated earlier this month during Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's visit to New Delhi.


Medical tourism from nations with higher average health costs or poor infrastructure stood at $620 million in 2016-17, more than $890 million in the last financial year.


After Bangladesh, the highest number of medical visas was allowed to Afghanistan (29,400), followed by Iraq (9,139) and Nigeria (5,994). The highest average spending was by Pakistan.


Each patient spent about $2,906. A total of 1,921 Pakistani nationals were issued medical visas, a mere 1.35 percent of all incoming patients.


India's services exports rose to $155 billion in 2015 from $52 billion in 2005, with a share of 3.3 per cent in global services exports.


In the first 11 months of 2016-17, services exports stood at $146.5 billion.