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An Overview of the Medical Tourism Industry in Bangalore, India

Medical tourism occurs when patients travel internationally to obtain privately funded medical care. Medical tourism is a global practice, with hospitals and clinics in a diverse array of destination countries vying to treat such international patients. India is one of these destination countries. In this document, we provide an overview of Bangalore, India’s nascent medical tourism industry. This overview has been generated based on information gleaned from media and policy sources, field notes taken during site visits to public and private healthcare facilities in the country, immersive observational research, and informal conversations with various stakeholders in Bangalore’s medical tourism industry. Our research group is interested in developing a better understanding of the health equity impacts of medical tourism on destination countries. In other words, we are interested in understanding if and how medical tourism is helpful and/or harmful to people living in destination countries and their health. India is one of four countries that our work is focused on, which is why we have produced this profile. The medical tourism industries in Barbados, Guatemala, and Mexico are also being examined. We are studying the medical tourism industries and their impacts in these countries as part of an international grant funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. You can learn more about our research. In the sections that follow we offer some general information on Bangalore and its health system before going into detail about key developments in its medical tourism industry. Complementing the main text, five Appendices provide additional detailed insights. Appendix 1 offers a content analysis of the media coverage of medical tourism in Bangalore. In Appendix 2 we provide a narrative synthesis of policy documents regarding medical tourism in Bangalore, Karnataka, and India. Appendix 3 is a summary of key agencies and actors involved in medical tourism development in Bangalore and India. Appendix 4 is a map of the medical tourism facilities in Bangalore, and Appendix 5 offers the trade and investment treaties in India.