‘Cure With Care’: The Motto Of Indian Medical Tourism

Medical tourism in India has seen an exponential growth in the past five years and is all set to become the major earner of foreign exchange in near future. There are a number of reasons that has led to the promotion of medical tourism in India. Patients from abroad are wooed not only by the low cost factor but also by the exceptional hospitality offered by the Indian healthcare centers. In a nutshell, one is not only cured but also cared for and it is this theory of ‘cure with care’ that forms the motto of medical tourism industry in India.

Indian healthcare facilities are in no way inferior to their foreign competitors in the medical tourism industry like Thailand, Philippines, Singapore and so on. Canadian Minister of Labour and Citizen’s Services, Michael De Jong, who recently visited few hospitals in India and was impressed with the facilities on offer, has even acknowledged this. Indian healthcare centers offer specialized services at less than one-fifth of the cost in developed countries. That is why more and more patients from abroad find it wiser to undergo treatment in other countries like India. Medical tourism in India is soaring upwards and it is estimated that healthcare tourism alone can now rake over 8,000 crore additional revenue by 2012.

Medical tourism in India has been successful in arousing the interests of Indian government with its promise to bring in more revenue by luring people over the world to travel and cure themselves at the same time. Most Indian healthcare centers make provisions for their foreign patients to travel across India prior to or after their treatment. A report by the Confederation of Indian Industry estimates that this year, close to half a million foreign patients will travel to India for treatments as complex and varied as bone marrow and kidney transplants, neurosurgery, joint replacement and dental implants. Not only those, these Indian health centers are highly admired for the wonderful hospitality offered to their foreign patients.

Till the 1980’s, government run hospitals were the primary providers of healthcare in India. The emergence of corporate hospitals has brought a touch of sophistication and modernity to the Indian healthcare industry. These hospitals house equipments imported from countries like UK, USA, Germany, Japan and the like. Complex treatments are now being performed frequently owing to the latest technologies available here. India has established world-class expertise in complex medical practices such as cardiac care, cosmetic surgery, joint replacements, neurosurgery, ophthalmology and dentistry. Besides, these treatments are offered at only a nominal cost compared to other developed countries like USA.

Ida E. Glass

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