How to choose the Best and Affordable Hospital in India in 2020

Posted on September 25th, 2019 by Hiba Farzin


“I need the best hospital in India for my treatment. Also, it should be affordable” – This is the general requirement of most of the patients planning their treatment in India. If you are reading this, I am sure that you are also looking for high-quality medical care at an affordable cost in India. If you choose your hospital wisely, you can get the best treatment in India as per your budget and financial conditions.

India has now grown into a top destination for medical tourism, which attracts thousands of travelers seeking affordable healthcare services. According to Patients Beyond Borders, India is the world’s value leader for international medical travel. The treatment cost in India is approximately one-tenth of the price of the same treatment in the US or UK. One can avail the best medical treatment in India and save up to 85% of their total medical cost.

To serve the increasing demand for quality medical care, new hospitals and facilities are established widely throughout the country. There are a lot of luxurious hospitals with five-star facilities, especially to attract international patients. At the same time, there are several other excellent hospitals with good facilities which are not so expensive, providing quality health care par with that of the premium hospitals.

Whom this article is for?

If you are an international patient visiting India to get your treatments at an affordable cost, this article will guide you in choosing the best hospital as per your requirements and budget.

The main reason why we wrote this article is that we have often seen international patients directly going to the premium hospitals in India, seeing their significant online presence, and finally left shocked with the bills.

People travel to India for treatment mainly because of 2 reasons:

  • High-quality treatment
  • Affordable rate

All the hospital-categories listed here have the best doctors and provide excellent treatment. There is no doubt about it. So whichever category you choose, the best treatment is guaranteed.

The main difference is in cost, facilities, and convenience. Higher the facilities and convenience, more expensive it is. If you are looking for five-star facilities in the hospital, you need to pay more. On the other hand, if you are ready to compromise a little on convenience, you can have excellent treatment in India at an affordable rate.

Send your queries

Classification of Indian hospitals according to cost & facilities

India is a country where the standard of living of people varies from state to state. The people of India widely differ in their financial status, income, and living expenses. There are middle-class people as well as multi-millionaires, including some of the wealthiest people in the world. At the same time, there are people living below the international poverty line with no means to meet even their basic needs. The health care requirements and affordability also vary for different categories of the population.

As there are a lot of natives who cannot afford even the reasonable costs for their medical requirements, the country has set up an excellent public healthcare system to provide medical care to the poor at minimum cost.

Apart from government initiatives, there is also a good number of non-governmental organizations involved in the field by setting up healthcare facilities to serve the poor with affordable medical treatments and surgeries.

On the other side lies the big brands and corporate-backed multi-specialty hospitals with world-class infrastructure and facilities to attract rich people and international patients.

In between them lies the profit-oriented but economic hospitals.

Here, we have classified the hospitals in India under four main categories based on their ownership, services provided, cost of treatments, and location.


  1. Premium Hospitals
  2. Economy Hospitals
  3. Non-profit Hospitals
  4. Government Hospitals

This is not an official classification for hospitals in India. We made these categories only for giving you a brief insight into what to expect from different types of hospitals in India.

Which hospitals do Indians choose for their treatment?

I am from a city in Kerala, which is in South India. We have government hospitals, non-profit hospitals, and economy hospitals in our locality itself. All Premium Hospitals are just 1 hour away by flight. I will tell you the general trend in my region so that you will have a better understanding of how we choose the hospital to get treatment.

  • We focus more on doctors than hospitals
    We always look for the best doctor for our medical conditions rather than the best hospital.
  • Cost-conscious people choose government or non-profit hospitals
    People who look for the best treatment at the most affordable rate always prefer government or non-profit hospitals.  The only issues with these hospitals are their long waiting time and are over-crowded.
  • Economy hospitals are our favorite choice
    People looking for the best treatment without compromising much on convenience, always go for Economy hospitals.
  • Premium hospitals are chosen very rarely
    People choose to go there only for extremely complicated cases that require most-advanced robotic surgeries such as Cyberknife, etc.

I hope you got some understanding of the categories of hospitals and how Indians chose them. Now let us learn more about these hospitals and their pros and cons.

Premium hospitals


Medanta – The Medicity, Gurgaon

The hospitals of this category are established and run by private organizations or individuals. These may be a part of big brands or corporates. Most of the Premium hospitals are located in the tier-1 metropolitan cities of the country. These cities have good air connectivity and other facilities. If international patients are supposed to stay outside the hospital during the course of their treatment, their daily expenses will be high in these cities. Even though the cost may be very low compared to international standards, the cost for healthcare within the country is the highest at the Premium hospitals.


  • Highly qualified doctors and surgeons
  • Most modern diagnosis and treatment equipment
  • Best infrastructure  with five-star facilities
  • Priority bookings for international patients
  • Dedicated lounge and rooms for international patients
  • Availability of translators for international patients
  • Expertise in handling complicated and challenging treatment procedures and surgeries
  • Better air connectivity
  • Good online presence and customer care


  • Expensive

Who should consider a premium hospital?

If you are looking for world-class medical care in India without any compromise on convenience, then we recommend premium hospitals for you. The expenses will, however, be the highest in the country. But the facilities, care provided, and convenience will be worth the money you pay.

Top hospitals of this category:

  1. Apollo Hospitals
  2. Fortis Hospitals
  3. Max Hospitals
  4. Medanta The Medicity, Gurgaon
  5. Global Hospitals
  6. Manipal Hospitals
  7. Jaypee Hospital, New Delhi
  8. Columbia Asia Hospitals

Send your queries

Economy hospitals



Meitra Hospital, Calicut-Kerala

Economy hospitals are established and run by private organizations or individuals. These hospitals are the most favorite choice of Indian middle class. Most of the hospitals are located in Tier 2 cities. Which means you may need to board an additional domestic flight to reach here. However, it is worth comparing to the cost saved.

They have a bunch of highly qualified and experienced doctors and clinical technicians. These hospitals provide high-quality medical treatments at an affordable cost. They do not charge unnecessarily for the brand name or luxury of the hospital. These hospitals may have a poor online presence and ad campaigns compared to the Premium hospitals, yet they serve their patients with the most effective treatments and care to achieve precise results.


  • Highly experienced doctors and technicians
  • High-quality medical treatments
  • High-end diagnosis and treatment equipment
  • Convenience as good as the Premium hospitals
  • Affordable cost for treatments and consultations
  • No unnecessary charges
  • Priority appointments for international patients
  • Dedicated staff to provide services for international patients
  • Good response for telephonic and other media through inquiries


  • Low online presence.
  • Poor air connectivity. International patients might have to board an extra flight to reach these hospitals

Who should consider an economy hospital?

If you are looking for the best medical services at an affordable cost without compromising much on convenience, the Economy hospitals are for you. These hospitals may be located in cities with poor international air connectivity. One might have to board a domestic flight to reach these hospitals conveniently. Saving an extra 30% on treatment expenses would be worth boarding an extra flight for most of the patients, who are concerned about their money and savings. We strongly recommend Economy hospitals to anyone who is looking for high-quality medical care in India at a reasonable cost. 

Top hospitals of this category:

  1. AIG Hospitals Hyderabad
  2. Meitra Hospital, Calicut
  3. Ganga Hospital, Coimbatore
  4. Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, New Delhi
  5. Aster Group of Hospitals
  6. Omega Cancer Hospital, Hyderabad
  7. MVR Cancer Centre, Calicut
  8. KMCH Hospital, Coimbatore

Send your queries

Non-profit hospitals


CMC, Vellore

These hospitals are run by charity organizations or trusts with a view of providing high-quality healthcare without any monetary intentions. This doesn’t mean that they are free of charge. They charge a nominal cost. But the profit earned through these is again passed to society through funding for the treatment of poor people and other welfare activities.


  • Excellent treatment  
  • Good doctors
  • Treatments are done without any profit intensions
  • No need to worry about any extra charges



Areal view of CMC Vellore

  • Heavily crowded
  • Long waiting time
  • No priority appointment for international patients
  • Translators may not be available
  • Not well-coordinated and managed
  • Online and telephone through services and response are poor

Who should consider a non-profit hospital?

We recommend the non-profit hospitals of India for patients who cannot afford huge expenses for medical requirements at private hospitals. You must be ready to compromise on the long waiting times to get your appointments and consultations as well as other inconveniences in the infrastructure and facilities.

Top hospitals of this category

  1. CMC Vellore
  2. Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai
  3. Shanka Nethralaya, Chennai
  4. ILBS Hospital, Delhi
  5. Regional Cancer Center, Trivandrum
  6. Sri Sathya Sai Super Speciality Hospital, Bangalore
  7. Iqraa Hospital, Calicut
  8. LV Prasad Eye Hospital, Hyderabad

Send your queries

Government hospitals


AIIMS, Delhi

The government hospitals are established and run by central or state governments to provide quality medical treatment to people of the country at a minimum cost. These hospitals also concentrate on medical education and research purposes. They have highly qualified and experienced doctors, technicians, and supporting staff to serve patients with expert care. These hospitals, however, do not entertain foreign patients. They admit international patients only in rare situations or severe complications during treatment at other hospitals in India. 


  • Best doctors and surgeons
  • All advanced and challenging treatments and procedures are performed
  • Expertise to handle any emergency or complications
  • Research and development programs are conducted
  • Best results and success rates for treatments


  • Difficult to get appointments
  • No priority bookings for consultations
  • International patients not entertained
  • Heavily crowded
  • Room facilities may not be so convenient 
  • Waiting time is usually longer

Who should consider a government hospital?

Government hospitals in India, as in any other country, are for the native people of the country. They are meant to provide free medical services and treatments to the people of India. Indians can approach any government hospital in India for all their treatments free of cost or at a nominal cost. Only a few hospitals like the NIMHANS, admits foreign patients. The response and individual patient care may not be as good as a private hospital since they have to serve a huge number of patients most of the time. Those who are ready to compromise the inconvenience of long waiting times and lack of room facilities can choose to go to a government hospital to have consultations and treatments done by the most experienced and highly skilled doctors.

Top hospitals of this category

  1. AIIMS, Delhi
  2. Safdarjung Hospital, Delhi
  3. NIMHANS, Bangalore
  4. SCTIMST, Trivandrum
  5. Central Institute of Psychiatry, Ranchi

Send your queries