Sunday, January 31, 2010

A Brief History of the Medical Value Travel Industry in India

Sunday, January 31, 2010Medical Tourism is not a new phenomenon in India. It has been in existence in various avatars since the 1970’s. In the early days India was the favored destination for patients from right across the Middle East specifically Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. It was not an uncommon sight in Mumbai (erstwhile Bombay) to see Arab clients in their long flowing robes arrive at the airport and get transported to hospitals such as Breach Candy, Jaslok Hospital etc for medical treatment. In Kolkata (erstwhile Calcutta), each flight in carried a horde of people from Bangladesh looking for medical alternatives. A similar situation existed in Chennai (erstwhile Madras) that had people from Sri Lanka flocking to its hospitals in search of healthcare solutions.

In the new scenario there are many more people from different parts of the world that are looking at India for a range of healthcare solutions ranging from complicated surgeries to traditional healing practices like Ayurveda and Yoga. Patients access India for different reasons and ailments. People from the US, Canada and other developed nations look for Obesity or Bariatric Surgery. Joint Replacement Surgery. Spine related surgeries. Cosmetic and Dental Surgery among others. Patients from Africa, primarily from Nigeria look for Cancer therapies, cardiac care, pediatric care and orthopedic surgeries Over the last few years there has also been an influx of people from war ravaged regions e. g. Afghanistan, Iraq who come to India to have war related injuries treated like shrapnel and bullet injuries, artificial leg and arm prostheses.

In order to cope with rising demand of these medical travelers a range of quality healthcare facilities catering to all categories of patients have come up. Major hospital chains like Fortis Healthcare and Apollo Hospitals have their major facilities accredited by the Joint Commission International ( JCI – http://www. jointcommissioninternational. org/ ). JCI is the Gold Standard in Hospital Accreditation and is one of the few certification programs accepted internationally. Indian law now requires that every hospital facility be accredited to the National Accreditation Board for Hospital and Healthcare Providers (NABH – http://www. qcin. org/nabh/index. php ). NABH is the Indian equivalent of the JCI certification. It is not as robust a standard as JCI as it is a very young protocol and over the next few years is expected to be on par with International standards.

Traditional systems of Indian medicine and Wellness like Ayurveda, Ayurvedic massage therapies and Yoga have also seen a very rapid growth trajectory.

Recover Discover Healthcare ( www. recoverdiscover. com ) started its operations as one of the pioneers of the Medical Value Travel or Medical Tourism in India. It has an Exclusive tie up with the Fortis Healthcare Group ( www. fortishealthcare. com ) which is head quartered in Delhi, India. This physical proximity between Recover Discover and Fortis helps the both of them to co-ordinate all activities seamlessly and provide a high level of patient experience. Patients also have the huge added advantage to obtain multiple treatments with the same hospital chain. So whether a patient looks for a gastric Bypass at Wockhardt, Mumbai or a Cardiac Bypass to Escorts, Delhi or a Knee or Hip replacement at Fortis, Noida all the top quality solutions are delivered by the same hospital chain Fortis Healthcare.

The exclusive agreement with Fortis also gives its clients access to treatment at 3 JCI accredited hospitals. The 4th hospital Escorts Heart Institute in Delhi is due to accredited by the summer of 2010. Recover Discover Healthcare aims to live by its motto Care Beyond Boundaries.

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