May 20, 2013

Medical Tourism

Travel and change of place impart new vigor to the mind. 
~ Lucius Annaeas Seneca, De Tranquillitate Amini, A.D60 

Don’t you agree?! Extend the quote a bit more: Travel and change of place impart new vigor to mind and body!

The private health care institutes of India have adopted this mantra today! People travel to countries (India being one of them) with a purpose of combining modern healthcare, treatment and leisure. I have often noticed, friends and relatives visiting India just to go through a series of medical procedures. The procedures are sometimes as complicated and life threatening as heart surgery but sometimes as trivial (to me) as cosmetic surgery. It took me sometime to understand the mathematics behind these acts!

India today is on par with USA, UK and Europe in terms of modern healthcare, hospital infrastructure and technology. Our country stands fourth in the list of top 10 destinations for modern healthcare travel. A specialized medical procedure which may require 9 months of waiting period in US or UK, require only zero waiting period in India. It is fast becoming the most popular and respected. Many companies have mushroomed all over India offering superb world class medical facilities to medical tourists. So it is not a surprise that many medical tourists are making a beeline to India for modern health care.

Off shoring is the next big thing in health care! Several companies abroad tie up with hospitals here in India, for their employee’ health care programs. They do so to cut their organizations’ health care costs. One of the several famous reliable hospitals of India is AIIMS. This hospital rank high in terms of quality service, size, cost, skill and medical technology. Not only that many of these hospitals are moving towards international and national accreditation. They provide access to reliable and certified information on facilities, infrastructure and level of care.

The most sought after medical procedures in India are: Cardiac surgery, orthopedic and spinal surgeries, dental care and cosmetic surgery. I know people who have got full mouth reconstruction done and then bragging about the dollars they saved. Thailand is one country where medical tourists travel to get sex change procedures done. Brazil and Costa Rica offer cheap orthopedic and spinal surgeries. Surrogate pregnancy is another facility which many foreigners seek in lesser developed nations. The reverse too holds well where rich affluent families from lesser developed countries combine treatment and tourism. They seek the hospitals of European countries for their best-quality professionals and top-notch medical technologies. They combine sightseeing too though not on priority basis.

Medical tourism is different from normal medical care. Tourism industry has collaborated well with reputed hospitals (other way round too in some cases) to deliver modern health care and good medical treatment packages. The whole package is something like this: Along with the wellness treatment the medical tourist’s other logistic needs and accompanying people’s needs too are taken care of. Complementary services like escort, airport pick up drop, accommodation, transportation etc. are included in the package. A fine cocktail of fun, relaxation, leisure, wellness and modern healthcare is provided. International holiday setting by itself has a therapeutic effect. Breathe taking scenic sights, religious historic monuments, warm hearts of people of India; post operative care in such ambiance can leave a person fully recharged and stress free. Recovery options and locations conducive to recuperation are plenty. Medical treatment in such a setup can be an enchanting experience. The necessary medical paperwork and records all are taken care of. Packages like these cost many times less in developing countries when compared to the well developed countries of west.

Cross border health plans are on rise and it is the right time for India to focus and gear up to the challenge. India has a huge potential to rank higher in the list of medical tourism destination. More resources and talents have to be tapped in the right direction for this. We have dedicated physicians, high class technology, lesser legal hassles (caution: which can prove to be a bane too), English speaking public which helps communicate better. Indians have this simple policy of Atithi Devo Bhava (read Sanskrit) meaning "Guests are God"! This attitude combined with efforts channeled in right direction, India can soar to the topmost position in the field of medical tourism!


9 comments:

Tomichan Matheikal said...

I agree with you totally that travel is a good medicine. In fact, I'm taking a month-long vacation tour just for that reason.

mysay.in said...

for me this was an amazing read .. very informative one as well.. about Medical Tourism !!
Loved every bit of information and how you see areas of improvement and possibilities of India ranking good out there.
A different post on the topic and an appreciable one indeed, Indrani!
All the Best for the Contest ! :)

Juuhhii Agrawal said...

Yeah true!!!!
A change scenery does help to invigorate our senses.....
Change is the only constant & I love to change my surroundings every now & then.......
@travelnonu

Gail Dixon (La.Belle) said...

Wow, so interesting! I had no idea people were traveling to India to get medical treatment. Medical tourism...who woulda thought?

Gert Jan Hermus said...

A very impressive blogpost Indrani. I really hope that India will have a great future in many ways!

Warm greetings from the Netherlands,
DzjieDzjee

Cloudia said...

A most valuable post!


Aloha

Photo Cache said...

I've seen a show on medical tourism in India. It's very interesting.

Indrani said...

Yes Tomican, travel does de-stress. Thank you for your comment.

Thank you very much for your kind words of appreciation mysay.in.

Well told Juuhhii!

Thank you Gail Dixon.

Many thanks Gert Jan Hermus.

Glad you found it so Cloudia. Thanks!

I am glad you were already aware of medical tourism, Photo Cache.

Vicky Dada (Vikas) said...

This is a post, not written to win a contest, but on that pretext, to educate. Kudos Indrani!