Why medical tourism is on the rise in India?
- Posted on- Jan 29, 2016
Off late, there has been a surge in the number of foreigners seeking core medical procedures in India. India is leaving no stone unturned to upgrade its healthcare sector attracting patients across the globe. In the last 10 years or so, India has been the Favourite Destination for patients seeking low-cost surgeries or cosmetic upliftment. The reason: Medical treatments in India are the lowest in Asia regions and the techniques in hospitals are cutting edge & advanced. Moreover, Indian government is taking steps to deal with infrastructure problems that obstruct the country’s enlargement in the field of medical tourism India.
The government of India has eased visa limitations on India tourist visa that requires a two-month gap amid repeated visits for Gulf countries’ people which is likely to improve medical tourism. A visa-on-arrival proposal for tourists from chosen nations has been instituted which permits foreign nationals to reside in India for thirty days for medical reasons.
Most hospitals have arranged speech translators, so that patients feel comfortable and easy while communicating and at the same time providing best facilities required for their treatment. The supporting staff has become more professional in handling protocols and public relationship. Even before the patient arrives in India, the doctor has complete history of the patient. Thanks to the online profile doctors maintain these days. They get easy access of reports and prescriptions of patients in advance which makes treatments all the more successful. No matter where the patient resides, doctors in this present era can fetch patients’ medical information by registering themselves online.
When compared to the United States and the United Kingdom, treatment cost in India is far less. For e.g. Knee joint replacement cost in India is around $5,000 in comparison to countries like the UK where the same surgery costs around $15,000. Furthermore, regular medical check-ups and examinations, such as ultrasounds, blood tests and X-rays are substantially lower in most Indian diagnostic centres.
Some of the popular medical treatments which are done on tourists demand and requirements in India include bone-marrow transplant, knee transplant, eye surgery, cosmetic surgery, alternative medicine, hip replacement, dental care, and cardiac bypass. India is known in particular for heart surgery, hip resurfacing and other areas of advanced medicine.
In India, there are numerous highly skilled physicians and expert practitioners. Liberalization and economic growth in India has resulted in building up high-tech medical facilities that can match with the best similar facilities available in western countries. In view of the boom in medical tourism, many practicing physicians who were well settled in USA & Europe have returned to India. Whereas some small countries possibly will be feasible alternatives for small surgical treatments, only India is the mainstream alternative that provides an inclusive solution for all types of medical needs & provides services to its highest level with improved amenities and proficient skills.
Both the government and private sector hospitals in India offer low cost surgeries be it heart transplant, knee surgery, various cosmetic surgeries, laparoscopic procedures etc. Opening of AIIMS (India’s numero-uno medical institute) in cities other than New Delhi is an indication how Indian Government perceives increasing number of patients coming from different parts of India and the world. Apart from AIIMS, medical institutes like BLK Super Speciality Hospital, Medanta Medicity, and PSRI among others are some of the prominent hospitals in India offering low cost surgeries.
Another factor that has contributed extensively to the rise of medical tourism in India is the ease by which international patients can compare surgery cost online. With internet being the prime medium, patients can find cost of different medical procedures online and subsequently compare them to get the best deal. For e.g. a laparoscopic bariatric surgery costing Rs 10 lakhs in Washington may cost Rs 3-4 lakhs in New Delhi including hospital stay and recovery. This is precisely what prompts a potential patient to pack bags and travel to India for low cost medical treatment.
Factors for increase in medical tourism in India don’t end here. Due to the high number of surgeries in India, doctors and hospitals are able to obtain instruments and consumables at a lower rate than in other countries. Sometimes they purchase medical equipments directly from the source, eliminating middle men’s role. This along with low remuneration of doctors drives international patients to India.
One notable but not often highlighted fact is that Indian surgeons operate on more cases than a similar surgeon in Europe or US. This gives them the extra edge when it comes to experience and handling complicated surgeries. Adding to that, success rate is quite high in India and the cost of medical treatment is quite low. That’s why we see a lot of patients from Nigeria, Kenya, Rwanda, Fiji, Tajikistan and entire Middle East come to India for medical treatments.
Indian healthcare sector is putting giant steps in the right direction. With the government doing its bit to improve this sector and online healthcare start-ups putting icing on the cake, there’s only one direction that the Indian Medical Tourism is heading. Needless to say, we have come very far in terms of providing the best medical treatment to patients around the world. We hope to withstand every challenge and achieve new heights.