Tamil Nadu is one of the pioneers of medical tourism in India. Attracting a good number of international health tourists, the state has always been an important centre for medical diagnosis and treatment. It ranks top in the country in terms of number of children immunised and takes pride in the thousands of eminent medical practitioners specialising in various fields of medicine. Over 15 lakh patients visit Tamil Nadu annually for medical diagnosis and treatment.
Tamil Nadu has the best infrastructure in the country for medical tourism. It has over 12,500 hospital beds, around 10 lakh registered doctors, 48 government-run medical colleges with hospitals; and hundreds of private specialty and multi-specialty hospitals. Besides, there are 1,491 Indian system hospitals and hundreds of Ayurvedic, Siddha, Unani and Homeopathic resources. Backing these are 84 pharma colleges and around 400 pharma-manufacturing companies in the state.
Considering the importance of Medical Tourism, the Department of Tourism along with the hospitals established a Medical Tourism Information Centre in the Tamil Nadu Tourism Complex and Travel Desks in Chennai and Madurai. A core committee of medical experts and the Directorate of Medical Education oversee the system.