Advantages for medical treatment in India include reduced costs, the availability of latest medical technologies, and a growing compliance on international quality standards, as well as the fact that foreigners are less likely to face a language barrier in India. The Indian government is taking steps to address infrastructure issues that hinder the country’s growth in medical tourism. The government has removed visa restrictions on tourist visas that required a two-month gap between consecutive visits for people from Gulf countries which is likely to boost medical tourism. A visa-on-arrival scheme for tourists from select countries has been instituted which allows foreign nationals to stay in India for 30 days for medical reasons. In Noida, which is fast emerging as a hotspot for medical tourism, a number of hospitals have hired language translators to make patients from Balkan and African countries feel more comfortable while at the same time helping in the facilitation of their treatment.
Confederation of Indian Industry reported that 150,000 medical tourists came to India in 2005, based on feedback from the organization’s member hospitals. The number grew to 200,000 by 2008. A separate study by ASSOCHAM reported that the year 2011 saw 850,000 medical tourists in India and projected that by 2015 this number would rise to 3,200,000.
Most estimates claim treatment costs in India start at around a tenth of the price of comparable treatment in America or Britain. The most popular treatments sought in India by medical tourists are alternative medicine, bone-marrow transplant, cardiac bypass, eye surgery and hip replacement. India is known in particular for heart surgery, hip resurfacingand other areas of advanced medicine.
Lower treatment cost does not necessarily mean lower healthcare standards. There are 21 JCI accredited hospitals in India and growing. However, for a patient traveling to India, it is important to find the optimal Doctor-Hospital combination. After the patient has been treated, the patient has the option of either recuperating in the hospital or at a paid accommodation nearby. Many hospitals also give the option of continuing the treatment through telemedicine.
Recently, patients from countries like Afghanistan have started to travel to India for treatment in large numbers and this is expected to grow even further. The Indian healthcare industry is estimated to double in value to $6 billion by 2018. Companies like Surgery Assistance India and other companies and individuals working in this field see growing opportunities and the patients get more option for treatment in India.
The medical tourism industry in India has been hit badly by the political scenario in countries like Iraq which is a big source of patients for the Indian hospitals. The Ebola outbreak in Africa has also served a blow to the industry as India has a huge inflow of patients from the African continent. The political situation in Pakistan has also affected the inflow of patients to India.
The city of Chennai has been termed India’s health capital. Multi- and super-specialty hospitals across the city bring in an estimated 150 international patients every day. Chennai attracts about 45 percent of health tourists from abroad arriving in the country and 30 to 40 percent of domestic health tourists. Factors behind the tourists inflow in the city include low costs, little to no waiting period, and facilities offered at the specialty hospitals in the city. The city has an estimated 12,500 hospital beds, of which only half is used by the city’s population with the rest being shared by patients from other states of the country and foreigners. Dental clinics have attracted dental care tourism to Chennai.
Superlative care in India
Medical Tourism Corporation helps facilitate medical travel to India and arranges for finest hospital services with the most skilled doctors, physicians and surgeons. The company takes care of the tiniest details, right from procuring visas, good accommodation, hospital costs for the treatment, to the airfare and transport within the country. India has some of the very best hospitals, dental clinics and treatment centers in the world offering the very best facilities.
Indian expertise and excellence in health care
Indian hospitals, within Medical Tourism Corporation’s network, are JCI accredited and highly renowned for their superior quality of health care. JCI accreditation ensures that the quality of medical and surgical care is at par with the American standards. Also, the Indian accreditation system (NABH) guarantees larger efficiency, more answerability, a responsible control in hospitals, and helps eliminate any negligence or deficiencies in the quality of health care. The National Accreditation Board for Hospitals and Healthcare Providers (NABH) comes under the purview of the board of Quality Council of India. It is set up to ascertain and run an accreditation program for medical and health care organizations. The board is formed to take care of the needs of the patients and to set a yardstick for the progress of the Indian Health Industry. Presently, it accredits hospitals and nursing homes, and will be accrediting Diagnostic Centers, Dental Clinics, Ayurvedic Hospitals and Blood Banks, in the near future.
- India offers several super specialty hospitals dedicated to providing cardiology and cardiothoracic surgery, orthopedic surgery (including knee and hip replacement surgery), organ transplant surgery (including liver, kidney), Neurosurgery, Ophthalmology, Pediatric Surgery, Pediatric Neurology, Urology, Gynecology / Obstetrics / Surrogacy, Psychiatry, General Medicine and General Surgery, Cancer management, Cosmetic treatments, and Dental care. With a gigantic boost in medical tourism, India has seen a massive upsurge in private sector hospitals that are devoted to overseas patients.
- Affordable and inexpensive costs of medical care services, approximately 30 % to 70 % lower than the costs in the United States, make Health Tourism to India highly appealing to an overseas patient.
- Vastly skilled, experienced and trained doctors, physicians and surgeons, of international fame and repute, perform the most complicated surgeries and procedures. Further, the doctors are supported by a strong, comprehensive and well trained paramedical force comprising of nurses, technicians, attendants, clinical co-ordinators, and nutritionists.
- The amenities offered by the hospitals are all state of the art, and the technological expertise utilized by the doctors is world class and latest.
- The hospitals use first-rate and safe implants and consumables.
- There is virtually zero wait time involved.
- The hospital staff speaks English very easily and fluently, thus eradicating any communication gaps or slip-ups.