Thursday, October 20, 2011

Medical Tourism – Why Choose India? by Nikhil Lamba

Medical tourism or health tourism is on a rise in India. It is starting to be considered as one of the most attractive locations for medical tourism. As per a research report “Booming Medical Tourism in India” India’s medical tourism industry is going to grow by 27% in the time period 2009-2012. In 2007 alone, India received 450,000 medical tourists and is expected to receive close to 1.1 million medical tourists in 2012. Currently India has 16 JCI Accredited Hospitals across the country.

Some of the most sought after procedures by medical tourists in India are alternative medicine, bone-marrow transplant, cardiac bypass surgery, eye surgery, orthopedic surgery, In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) or Infertility Treatment and dental procedures (such as dental implants, veneers etc.) commonly known an Dental tourism. Cosmetic surgery or cosmetic procedures and dental tourism are on a rise in India as well.

So what are the reasons to choose India as your medical tourism destination?

1. First and foremost is the cost factor. The cost savings are immense. As per the report by “Booming Medical Tourism in India”, medical tourist can save up to 60%-95% on their treatment cost by getting their treatment done in India.

2. The second most important factor according to me is the technology and international standards. Top Hospitals and healthcare facilities in India have the latest equipment and technology, which is at par with the medical facilities in the developed world. With the rise in medical tourism, more and more hospitals are investing in the latest equipments and getting internationally recognized certifications, such as JCI. As per Deloitte report, India has 10 JCI certified hospitals in 2007, and in 3 years India has added 6 more to the list.

3. The doctors in India have the expertise, which again is at par with the doctors in the developed countries. Today Indian doctors in every field are recognized in the world community for their work and contributions. Most of the doctors working in the big name hospitals have degrees and certifications from US and Europe.

4. Medical tourist get priority treatment in Indian hospitals as opposed to waiting for weeks or even months in their own country. This is a huge advantage as patients wanting to undergo say a hip or a knee replacement will have to bare the pain till they are not scheduled for treatment, which sometimes can take up to 3 months.

5. No language barrier. As English is one of the most used languages in India, medical tourists don’t feel lost in this country. Also, if you are from a non-English speaking country, translators are provided to make your stay as comfortable as possible.

6. Due to its beautiful culture, history and increased reorganization and popularization of yoga, Ayurveda and meditation more and more people are flocking to India for mental and physical peace.

Chennai is one of the most prominent cities in India for medical tourism as many of the big name medical centers have opened their facilities in this city. Other cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Ahmedabad are quickly catching up to attract international patients.

Apollo, Wockhardt, Fortis Healthcare, Max India, The Global Hospitals Group, MIOT Hospitals and some of the prominent hospitals catering to medical tourists. Apart from this, there are a large number of small clinics such as eye clinics, dental clinics, hair loss clinics, IVF clinics, message and spa clinics that exist across the country that are catering to medical tourist who are interested in elective surgery.