Growth Of Medical Tourism In India

Growth Of Medical Tourism In IndiaMon, 2010-04-26 22:41 — rupin

Indian Tourism in the 21st century has come a long way. Its latest venture is the promotion of Medical Tourism. Medical Tourism or Health Tourism is the idea of travelling abroad to well-known destinations for obtaining a wide variety of medical expertise in the form of consultancy and medical procedures including surgery.

India has some of the best hospitals in par with USA, UK and Europe in terms of expertise and facilities. India is considered a favourable destination for medical tourism because of its world class treatments at substantially lower costs. Treatment in India can also be administered almost immediately without any waiting period owing to the large pool of experienced doctors and supporting facilities. This is a major advantage for citizens of western nations where healthcare is subject to long waiting period in case of non-emergency procedures.

In India, top quality treatment is provided with anonymity and luxury at affordable rates. The costs for the procedure, travel fare and convalescing stay in India together may cost much lesser than the procedure alone in some nations. India also provides world class treatment for every specialty in medical science like Oncology, Orthopedics, Cardiology. Plastic Surgery, Gynecology, Dental procedures, Fitness therapies etc.

Indian tourism has built advanced transportation and communication systems, and the country is now a fast growing economy despite global economic recession. These factors have enabled it to provide competitive medical care as well as all the other logistical needs required to make medical tourism attractive. A major reason medical tourism in India has enormous potential for development is because of its cost effectiveness for patients coming from the USA and UK, and the good healthcare facilities which is not available in Middle east and African countries. People, especially Americans, who are uninsured choose medical treatment overseas due to its affordability and convenience.

According to a CII-McKinsey report the number of foreigners coming to India for medical treatment in the year 2003 increased to 100,000 – a 20% rise on the 2002 figure.

These categories of visitors to India, popularly known as “medical tourists”, are providing a new stream of revenue for corporate hospitals in India.

McKinsey estimates that the medical tourism market in India will increase to US$ 2bn by the year 2012 as compared to US$ 333mn at present. In recent years, many foreign nationals are finding that Indian hospitals are on par with international hospitals in terms of service and expertise.

1. What are the various factors that attract foreign patients to India and other South-Eastern countries? Is it necessary for the service providers to understand the culture of the foreign patients to provide them better service?

2. Naresh Trehan, Executive Director of EHIRC feels that accreditation of hospitals, uniform price banding like in the developed countries and organized campaigns will encourage more overseas patients to get treated here. What significance does this suggestions hold for a service provider like Apollo Hospitals?

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