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India emerges 2nd in medical tourism race

India spends 1.2% of its GDP on health, but takes care of foreign patients — the country ranks second in medical tourism. In 2007, Indian hospitals treated 4.5 lakh patients from other countries against topper Thailand’s 12 lakh.

A two-year study by healthcare researchers Deloitte revealed there’s always been an inflow of patients from neighbouring countries and West Asia, but now there’s a significant rise in patients from the US, UK and Europe.

Cheaper treatment is a huge attraction and, during recession, that’s a big fact. But other factors, too, have contributed to the growth of medical tourism in India. “Indian clinical and paramedical talent is globally appreciated and with JCI accreditation of some hospitals, international standard is proven. Third-party intervention through health insurance has also given it a boost,” said Vishal Bali, CEO, Wockhardt Group of Hospitals.

“Thailand, which revolutionized medical tourism, is more into cosmetic surgery; India focuses on cardiac, neurological or orthopaedic problems,” Bali said.

Another significant factor is long patient waiting list, especially in the UK and Europe. The per-capita healthcare expenditure in Korea is $720 against India’s $94. Treatment cost is lowest in India — 20% of the average cost incurred in US; in Singapore, Thailand and South Africa, it’s 30% of the US cost.

Medical tourism showcases the potential of Indian healthcare sector to the world which dreaded India for the incidence of AIDS, tuberculosis, cancer, malaria and diabetes.

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6 comments

  1. This is just a story to back the political agenda of the socialist liberals to push for gov’t run healthcare.
    let’s talk about how many canadiens come to the United States to try to circumvent the long waiting list in Canada because of thier piss poor Gov’t run system

  2. Another reason India is so popular with medical tourists is the growing number of companies, like WorldMed Assist, that make it easy for patients to travel for medical care. They facilitate everything from helping patients decide which country, which hospital, which surgeon, to transferring medical records and setting up conference calls between patient and surgeon, arranging travel and booking hotels, and keeping friends and family back home informed of the patient’s progress. Patients need to select a reputable facilitator—one that performs multi-day, on-site audits of each facility in its network, one that knows the top surgeons at each of its hospitals, one that’s passionate about each patient having a good experience from first contact through full recovery. A sample of procedures offered at top rated hospitals abroad is available at http://www.worldmedassist.com/procedures.htm

  3. @raptor:

    But isn’t that just a story to back the political agenda of conservatives who want everything privatized?

  4. A medical tourist in India can get the best of both worlds- excellent medical service from experts in the field of medicine and a splendid experience of an exotic holiday in India. India is high up there in the list of popular medical tourism destinations. It has become an obvious choice for patients who look at safe and cost-effective medical treatments. Visit here to know more about the tourism in Asia http://asiasmedicaltourism.com/

  5. Just returned from a vaction in INdia for 2 weeks. My son came down with a fever while we were there – not only was there easy access to an ENT specialist – for a fee of RS.200 ( ~ US $4) and meds costing RS.175 (~ $3.75) he was given quality treatment and recovered fine in a couple of days. 20 min office visit forf a new patient aside, what i also find mind boggling is the difference in cost for the same meds that we buy here. a bottle of Liquid amoxicillin cost us less than $3 – when you add up the co-pay and what insurance companies also have to shell out, we end up paying more than 10 times that amount. For a country that is the most advanced in the world, our health care racket is a freaking disgrace.

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