What is medical tourism?
It can be defined as the process of traveling outside the country of residence for the purpose of receiving medical care. Initially, it referred to the travel of patients from less-developing countries to the developed nations for the purpose of undergoing treatments that are not available in their homeland. Nowadays people traveling from richer to less-developed countries are becoming more common in order to access health services. This is often combined with relatively low-cost of treatments, inexpensive flight rates, increased marketing and online consumer information about the availability of medical services.
The quality of care In India:
There are 2 main components for the quality of service in the healthcare sector. They are:
- Technical or mechanical quality
- Serviceable or functional quality
The technical quality is based on the patient’s diagnostic algorithm while the functional quality is based on the services offered by the healthcare centers. The functional or service quality plays a vital role in attracting consumers to the medical industry.
One of the strongest barriers of medical tourism is the perception of poor quality. This barrier can be overcome by promoting the marketing strategies and accreditation from a recognized institution. Such accreditation will also strengthen the confidence in the quality of healthcare. This confidence can be even more developed if the accreditation is followed by an affiliation with a reputable hospital or healthcare center.
India has about 28 JCI accredited hospitals. The hospitals provide a wide range of options for the patients. The patients can decide for themselves whether to stay at the hospital during the course of treatment or to stay at a paid accommodation nearby. Some hospitals or healthcare centers also provide an option of continuing the treatment through telemedicine.
Healthcare capital of India:
Chennai is popularly known as the healthcare capital of India. It has many multi & super specialty hospitals spread all across the city. This attracts about 45% of the international patients and about 30% of the domestic patients every day. There are various other factors that attract the tourists. Those include low-cost treatments & little or no waiting periods.
Most of the multi-specialty and super specialty hospitals in Chennai have about 12000 beds for the patients. Out of this count, only half of it is shared by domestic patients. The rest is shared by people from other states or countries. Dental clinics have attracted the most population from other countries. This has helped the dental care tourism in Chennai to a great extent.
The ease of travel for medical tourism:
The government has removed visa restrictions for tourists who visit other countries for the sake of medical treatments. They have also removed restrictions on visas that require 2 months gap between consecutive visits for people from gulf countries. These countries are more likely to boost the medical tourism. There is a new scheme established by the Indian government which allows the foreign nationals to stay in India for about 30 days for medical reasons. This is known as visa-on-arrival scheme. The citizens from Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Maldives, republic of Korea & Nigeria availed the most visas.
The different types of treatments and their availability also act as an important factor in the decision to engage in a medical tourism. The most common treatment procedures that patients undergo during the medical tourism include dentistry, organ transplantation, elective cosmetic surgery, cardiac surgery and orthopedic surgery.
Reproductive tourism and reproductive outsourcing are growing in the field of medical tourism. It refers to the patients who travel abroad to engage in treatments that help resolve problems related to reproduction.
Apart from its cost, another factor which attracts medical tourism is its accessibility. The lack of unavailability of the technology or prohibition in the home country will subsequently lead to medical tourism. Some common examples are stem cell therapy and cytoplasmic transfer.
India being a diverse nation has a huge diversity of languages. This might act as a barrier for the international tourists. To avoid this barrier, English is often considered as the official language. It is widely spoken by many individuals and is universally accepted by medical professionals. Many health centers or hospitals which emerge as the hotspot of medical tourism have hired many language translators to overcome this obstacle. This has made many foreign nationals feel more comfortable while at the same time helping in facilitating the treatments.
Major healthcare providers in India:
There are a number of private hospitals in India which provide medical tourism services to the people out there. Some of the major groups are listed below:
- Apollo hospitals
- Aster Medicity
- Care hospitals
- Fortis healthcare
- Medantha hospital
- Narayana health hospital
- Tata memorial hospital, Mumbai
- Max hospital, new Delhi
- Continental hospital, Hyderabad
- CHL hospital, Indore
Some facts & statistics about medical tourism which you may not know!
- Medical tourism has been in existence for over 1000 years.
- There are about 485 JCI accredited hospitals around the world.
- One may spend more time at the hotel than at the hospital during the medical trip.
- 64% of the patients who do travel abroad do not have a health insurance.
- About 33% of the medical tourism patients travel for cosmetic surgery.
- About 70% of the medical tourism cases are rated as excellent.
Top hospitals in India that tourist prefers to visit:
FEHI specializes in cardiovascular care. It performs major operations like open heart surgery, heart transplants, etc. it is consistently ranked as one of the top heart centers all over India. Its other specialties include bone/joint health, liver treatments, etc.
- Rockland hospital: New Delhi
The rock land hospital is located in India’s capital of New Delhi, is one of the premier healthcare centers in India. It is popularly known for its cosmetic surgeries and ENT procedures.
- Apollo hospital: Banglore:
It provides a full spectrum of healthcare services using latest medical advancements such as nuclear medicine, cosmetology, dermatology, etc. It also has international representatives to help arrange for medical vacations.
- Global hospital: Chennai
Global hospitals are widely spread throughout India and Asia. There are about 22 hospitals in Asia. It has 13 different health disciplines. Some of them are breast oncology, liver procedures, dentistry, bariatric surgery, dermatology, etc.
It is considered as the “temple of cure”, is the most established healthcare center in Chennai. It has about 800 beds and 200 ICU units. This multi-specialty hospital provides various treatments such as gastroenterology, neurology and organ transplants. Their goal is to provide services to people of all economic levels.
To know more about these health care centers and also about those which aren’t mentioned here, you can seek the help of our doctors at Free Doctor Helpline or call us at +918010555444. The free doctor helpline will help in facilitating the international patients with the best doctors at best hospitals.
Risks of medical tourism:
Medical tourism can increase the risk of hospital acquired or healthcare infections. These are also known as nosocomial infections. For instance, if the same injection is used between two patients there are greater chances for spreading infections such as HIV or hepatitis. Infections with the multiresistant organism, the spread of noroviruses, and mycobacterial infections are the commonly cited cases of medical tourism risks. People who accompany the patients are also at risks of being infected.
A new terminology called “transplant tourism” which accounts for the tissue rejection and critical infectious complications4 after the transplants. These infections are more common among the medical tourists compared to other transplant patients.
Another dangerous thing about medical tourism is the blood supply. Most cases, blood is obtained from paid donors and may not be adequately screened to check for any contamination.
Traveling back to their home country after the surgical procedure may also cause risk of infection. It can be reduced by drinking plenty of water, stretching your legs when seated, or going for a small walk every 2 to 3 hours on a long trip.
Advantages of medical tourism:
Some of the advantages include:
- ¨ Provides low-cost treatments
- ¨ Accessibility to hi-tech equipment and trained doctors
- ¨ Availability of latest medical instruments
- ¨ There is no language barrier as English is considered as the official language. Also, many hospitals hire language translators to ease this problem
- ¨ Availability of low-cost generic medicines
- ¨ Relaxed visa rules
Medical tourism packages in India:
The below are the lists of a broad category of medical tourism packages provided by the tourism companies in India:
- Dental care
- Eye care
- Heart surgery
- Cosmetic surgery
- Ayurveda therapies
- Yoga & meditation
- Orthopedic surgery
- ENT care
- Health check up
The cost of various medical tourism packages In India are listed below:
- Heart bypass– INR 3,34,000
- Angioplasty-INR 2,12,000
- Face lift-INR 2,57,000
- Liposuction- INR 1,80,000
- Breast implants– INR 2,25,000
- LASIK (both eyes)-INR 3,00,000
- Retina- INR 54,000
- Cataract surgery-INR 1,80,000
- IVF treatment– INR 1,60,000
- Knee replacements-INR 4,42,000
- Hip replacements-INR 4,62,000
- Heart valve replacement-INR 6,10,000
- Dental implant-INR 5,78,000
- Spinal fusion-INR 6,62,000
Now it is very clear why India is often chosen as the best medical tourist spot in the world. A large number of excellent healthcare centers in India, it has become the premier location to travel and receive the best medical treatments. The various unique treatment packages offered at affordable rates helps in a great way to run the medical tourism industry. This is the reason behind the drastic establishment of the medical tourism industry.
If you would like to get more details regarding the medical tourism packages and the famous healthcare consultants please do log on to our website Free Doctor Helpline or call us and Ask A Doctor at +918010555444.