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Medical tourism in India

by A2Z Medical Tourism in India on Oct 05, 2011 


Medical tourism is a growing sector in India. India’s medical tourism sector is expected to experience an annual growth rate of 30%, making it a Rs. 9,500-crore industry by 2015.[1]Estimates of the value of medical tourism to India go as high as $2 billion a year by 2012.[2] As medical treatment costs in the developed world balloon - with the United States leading the way - more and more Westerners are finding the prospect of international travel for medical care increasingly appealing. An estimated 150,000 of these travel to India for low-priced healthcare procedures every year.[3]
Advantages for medical tourists 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 barriers in India. The Indian government is taking steps to address infrastructure issues that hinder the country's growth in medical tourism.

Most estimates claim treatment costs in India start at around a tenth of the price of comparable treatment in America or Britain.[4][5] 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, eye, dental and other areas of advanced medicine.

Hospitality is about serving the guests to provide them with “feel-good-effect”. “Athithi devo bhavha” (Guest is God) has been one of central tenets of Indian culture since times immemorial. In India, the guest is treated with utmost warmth and respect and is provided the best services. India has a large number of service personnel trained in the hospitality industry that ensures a high level of service quality.
Indian doctors are widely recognized as being some of the best the world over. Now with the latest medical technology available in India, many Indian doctors practicing in the West have actually come back to practice in hospitals like Apollo. Also, world-class medical infrastructure, and the latest medical technology are now available in India, and hospitals now offer treatments and surgical techniques similar to those carried out at the best hospitals in the West.

India, as a destination for medical tourism is not new, though with recent revival of ancient forms of treatment has revived its lost glory. For many tourists India offers a much cheaper option for medical treatment (General or Surgical) without compromising on quality, which is important when traveling away from home.

There are now numerous Hospitals in India that have been accredited by the Joint Commission International (JCI), the international arm of the organization that accredits American hospitals – proof that select Indian Healthcare is as safe and has as high clinical outcomes of those hospitals in the West.

The health delivery systems in many Western countries are overburdened, and patients have to face long waiting period & its medical hazards in form of poor outcome of prognosis of treatments & surgery,more complications,more difficulty in dealing with illness,unmeasurable suffering by patients, more expenditures so on & so forth.Medical Tourism is a very viable options for such category of patients. More it saves pocket of patients too.Just go though comparison on price & facilities section of this website to realize real benefit without compromising quality of treatments & surgeries.

Medical Tourism industry is in nascent phase of its development & there is lack of guidelines & protocols to be adopted universally.This group will be a platform of like minded people associated with this industry in any capacity to share their views to formulate a effective pragmatic program considering each country specific rules & regulations in mind & empowering prospective tourists by dissemination of relevant knowledge including their safety considerations.

Medical Tourism in India is not to be ignored. Long before medical tourists from various parts of the world began seeking medical treatments like surgery and other procedures abroad, there were already yoga and meditation centers in India for medical travelers who were more inclined to alternative medicine.

Since Yoga's birth (more than 5,000 years ago), medical travelers and students have trooped to India to learn more about Yoga and other forms of alternative medicine. India gained reputation as the center of Eastern cultural, spiritual, and medicinal progress when Buddhism came along 2,500 years later. And even when Western clinical medicine became more popular and credible, India remained the best destination for alternative medicine practitioners from all over the world.

AMA guidelines for patients going overseas for care

  • Medical care outside the U.S. should be voluntary.
  • Financial incentives to go outside the U.S. for care should not inappropriately limit diagnostic and therapeutic alternatives, or restrict treatment or referral options.
  • Financial incentives should be used only for care at institutions accredited by recognized international accrediting bodies (e.g., Joint Commission International or the International Society for Quality in Health Care.).
  • Local follow-up care should be coordinated and financing arranged to ensure continuity of care.
  • Coverage for travel outside the U.S. for care must include the costs of follow-up care upon return.
  • Patients should be informed of rights and legal recourse before traveling outside the U.S. for care.
  • Patients should have access to physician licensing and outcomes data, as well as facility accreditation and outcomes data.
  • Transfer of patient medical records should be consistent with HIPAA guidelines.
  • Patients should be provided with information about the potential risks of combining surgical procedures with long flights and vacation activities.

Source: "Medical Care Outside the United States," AMA Council on Medical Service Report 1 (A-08), as adopted

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