India's medical tourism market is growing quickly thanks to its low treatment costs and large number of competing private companies, reports reveal.

According to a report by Research and Markets, countries such as India, Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore are likely to do well off the back of the challenges faced by western nations.

These challenges include increased demands on public healthcare because of ageing populations, shortages of medical professionals and declining economies.

Healthcare economics expert Professor Rupa Chanda, from the Indian Institute of Management in Bangalore, told that India's medical tourism potential is also particularly good in regions such as the Gulf and Africa.

"We can exploit that further through tie-ups with overseas hospitals and through management of hospitals," he claimed.

"In terms of segments, for the time-being, if we remain limited to the paying base, then areas like cosmetic surgery, alternative medicines are more likely to flourish compared to more substantive treatments like bypass, surgeries of other kinds," he suggested.

Estimates suggest that medical tourism is growing by nearly a third every year in India.

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