Dhoom of Medical Tourism in India
India as a favourite destination for Medical Tourism
World-class medical and health facilities, highly trained doctors and professional health workers and low costs – these are three major attractions that are attracting more medical tourists in India. While most of these are coming from the US, UK and other European countries, these tourists are considering low cost medical treatment, the cost of treating these countries is quite high. An increase have seen in patients coming from countries like Africa, Middle East and South Asian countries such as Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan, who want simplification of treatment and a better option. India is rich in alternative medicine systems also like Ayurveda, Siddha and Yoga center and overall medicine, which attract tourists who receive a large number of treatments.
The dual medical tourism industry
According to recent news, the number of foreign tourists has increased by 22 to 25 percent to take advantage of the treatment and medical facilities in India. Currently, the medical tourism industry is estimated to be $3 billion US dollars, it is expected that it will grow up to US $ 6 billion next year. This will not only boost the domestic medical industry of India but will also increase the government treasury. Visa application for health tourism like exchange of medicines and medical devices, as well as for treatment and for medical education in Indian hospital etc. are very high in demand. There is a need to make changes in the mechanisms to fulfill them.
Medical Tourism for Post-treatment needs
Treatments availed by foreign tourists include heart and related surgery, liver implants, neuro surgery, oncological surgery and treatment for artificial ambient fertilization (IVF) etc. also cardiac surgery and treatment, knee and hip implant surgery, bariatric surgery, beauty and physical growth. Is very high in demand. These remedies are sought for many reasons.
The cost factor helping Medical Tourism in India
The cost of cardiac surgery can be between $ 70,000 to US $ 200,000 in US(without health insurance cover), while in India only it can be between 3500 USD and 8700 US dollars. Treatment of liver transplantation in the United States (surgery) costs about 3,00,000 US dollars, while in India it is almost $ 69,000. In this way, our country offers the world class treatment for patients of Western countries with very little or no cost. There is also a fact that patients do not have to wait long for their treatment here, Patients with Cancer and Neurological disorder are clearly benefited for this. On the other hand, patients from countries like Bangladesh come to India for treatment due to availability of better facilities like good doctors, operation facilities and good care.
Reverse Brain Drain to boost Health Tourism in India
India is emerging as a popular destination for medical tourism, one of the main reasons is reverse brain drain. Indian medical graduates are going abroad for promising higher education and they work there for many years. Although late, but many of these are choosing to return to India and practice here. Especially it is seen in many other major cities of India, including India’s medical tourism capital, Delhi, Chennai and Hyderabad. In India, the development of medical tourism (more demand), better opportunities for earning (compared to high earnings of the United States and Britain) and higher standard of living are forced to return home Indian doctors working abroad . It is a boon for the medical industry all over India as it helps doctors and health practitioners to co-ordinate with medical tourists. An Indian doctor who returns to India also brings together the loyal foreign customers who got treatment with him who wants treatment in India.
Regardless of the reasons, the number of medical visas issued by India tells a different story. Records show that in 2013 59,129 medical visas were issued. In 2014, it increased to approximately 75,671, followed by 134,344 medical tourists visiting India in 2015. In 2016, more than 200,000 foreign nationals came to India for treatment. It has also inspired many other occupations related to medical treatment and care. This has greatly benefited from the travel and hospitality industry. We now need to ensure that the growing number of medical tourists does not affect the standards of cleanliness and care and does not promote the shortcomings in the field of medicine. Medical tourism is a great opportunity for India to gain a lot of foreign revenues and to achieve a central position in the international community. If we can proceed with the proper security measures to cater to the potential needs as expected, there is huge growth potential to the medical tourism sector in India.