India’s medical tourism sector is expected to grow at an annual rate of 30% to become a INR 9,500-crore industry by 2015 as foreign arrivals will increase to avail treatment at lower costs, industry body Assocham said. “The cost of surgery in India is one-tenth of what it is in the US and Western Europe and sometimes even lesser,” the chamber said. Patients from other countries would make India a preferred choice for medical treatment because of cost and competitive factors, it added. In 2008, the size of the industry was estimated at INR 1,500 crore and it would grow into a INR 9,500 crore business by 2015, with an annual growth rate of 30 per cent, it said. About 1.8 lakh foreigners visited India for treatment in the first eight and half months of the current fiscal and their number would increase by 22 per cent to 25 per cent in the coming years, it said. While a heart-valve replacement costs about 0.2 mn dollar in the US, in India it can be done in 10,000 dollar which also includes round-trip airfare and a vacation package, the industry body said. India provides world-class medical facilities with hospitals and specialised multi-specialty health centres providing their expertise in areas such as cosmetic surgery, dental care, heart surgeries and coronary bypass.