Medical Tourism in India

What is Medical Tourism ?

Medical tourism refers to the movement of a patient from a highly developed nation to avail cost effective yet world class medical treatment at affordable costs,which are otherwise very expensive in their own country. Medical tourism works in quite an opposite fashion as compared to the traditional model of medical travel where patients from less developed countries used to travel to more developed nations to avail medical services that were absent in their own country. India has become a very promising medical tourism destination of the world with an overwhelming workforce of specialty doctors, nurses and trained staff. Medical travel has seen tremendous increase because of the high quality healthcare available at a fraction of the costs in some of the medical tourism destinations like India.

What has led to the growth of medical tourism in india ?

Affordable Medical Treatment

Some of the most sought after treatments and surgeries like angioplasty, knee replacements etc are too expensive in the developed nations like USA, UK. Countries like India have emerged as one of the most preferred medical tourism destination because of the very lost cost of these important surgeries like angioplasty, heart bypass etc. The costs of any particular surgery in India is around 6% to 18% of the corresponding costs in the USA. 

For instance a knee replacement surgery in India would cost around $6000 to $9000 in an accredited hospital, whereas knee replacement would cost $10,700 to $13,200 in Thailand and $45000 in the US. Similarly a hip replacement surgery in India is going to cost $7000 to $9000 in India in an accredited hospital, whereas the same hip replacement surgery is going to cost somewhere around $12000 to $17000 in Thailand and around $50000 in the US.

A typical Heart Bypass surgery in India is going to cost $6000 to $9000 in an accredited Indian hospital, whereas the same heart bypass is going to cost around $23000 to $34000 in Thailand and $100000 in the US.

Source : www.indushealth.com (September 14, 2010), www.medretreat.com (September 14, 2010),  www.bumrungrad.com (December 16, 2009)

Cost Effective treatment has thus triggered medical tourism in India and led to medical travel from all across the world to India.

High standard of Treatment / Surgeries

Pioneering medical tourism Countries like India provide state of the art treatments for a range of medical conditions like Oncology(cancer treatment), Cardiology( angioplasty, heart bypass etc), cosmetic and plastic surgeries, dental treatments, Infertility treatments, Organ and Bone Marrow transplants and many more). The standard and quality of treatment and care is either equivalent or better than one of the most advanced hospital provides in developed nations like USA.

Medical travel has thus been boosted among International patients as they are more confident of the standard of healthcare and proven excellence medical tourism in India.

JCI, NABH and NABL accredited Hospitals

The hospitals and health care centers that we have associated with are JCI( Joint Commission International), NABH( National Accreditation Board for Hospitals and Health Care Centers) and NABL(National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories) accredited, and ensure the highest degree of hygiene and care that exceed the Global standards. These hospitals have departments specializing in international patients and take proper care of the cultural sensitivities, food preferences and language diversity.

No Waiting Time

In most of the developed nations the patients have to wait for months and sometime years in order to get a simple surgery done because of a long queue of patients before them for whom the surgery has been scheduled. Pioneering medical tourism Countries like India has an abundant pool of doctors and a workforce of nursing staff that are able to perform a large number of surgeries in a given amount of time while never compromising with quality. Treatment starts the very day patient arrives in India.

Alternate Therapies

Select medical tourism countries like India is the birth place of some of the most effective alternate therapies known to mankind. Ayurveda which is the most effective form of alternate medicine and is completely natural serves as an alternative to the allopathic medicine and prevents the body from any kind of side effects. Ayurvedic massages and therapies can relieve stress and rejuvenate the body. A lot of wellness tourists head to India to experience Ayurveda in the most authentic manner.

Yoga that has gained much popularity in the western countries as the preferred form of workout and meditation. Abundant wellness centers train how to master yoga in the most authentic form for physical and mental well being.

Medical tourism in India statistics / Advantages of medical tourism in India / Scope of medical tourism in India

Medical Travel : Source and Destination

Due to the growth of the medical tourism countries, a lot of people travel from their home country to countries providing affordable yet world class healthcare facilities. A comprehensive study of the total number of medical tourists moving out of their native country for medical travel, on the basis of source and destination countries is as follows :-

As per the statistics above its very clear that a majority of International patients travel to Asian countries like India, for availing better healthcare facilities.

From/To Asia Europe Latin America Middle East North America
Africa 95% 4% 1%    
Asia 93% 1%     6%
Europe 39% 10% 5% 13% 33%
Latin America 1%   12%   87%
Middle East 32% 8%   2% 58%
North America 45%   26% 2% 27%
Oceana 99%   1%    

 Source: Reports derived from the McKinsey report published in 2008.


 Accreditation

A lot of international patients prefer an accredited hospital before they make up their minds for medical travel. Accreditation, be it national or international, plays an important role in a patient's decision to select a medical tourism destination while going for medical tourism.

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.

 Following is a study of the total number of JCI accredited hospitals in the major medical tourism destinations of the world along with the average cost of surgery:- 

Major Destination JCI Accredited Hospitals No. of medical Tourists Average Cost( as a percentage of US costs)
India 19 850000(2011) 6% - 20%
Thailand 25 500000(2011) 10%- 30%
Singapore 13 200000(2012) 12%-33%
Malaysia 6 583296 8%-26%

Source : Medical Healthcare travel council  


Cost of Surgery

Due to an increase in the cost of Quality healthcare services in most of the developed countries and lack of medical insurance, it is becoming increasingly more difficult for the middle-class household to afford these services. There is no denying the fact that csst is the single most important factor for a patient to move out of the home country for medical travel.

A comparative analysis of some of the most complex yet frequently performed surgeries in some of the most preferred medical tourism destinations of the world is as follows :- 

Surgery USA(US Dollars) India(US Dollars) Thailand(US Dollars) Singapore(US Dollars)
Heart Bypass 80k - 130k 6.7k - 9.3k 11k 16.5k
Heart Valve Replacement 160k 9k 10k 12.5k
Angioplasty 57k 5k-7k 13k 11.2k
Hip Replacement 43k 5.8k-7.1k 12k 9.2k
Hysterectomy 20k 2.3k-6k 4.5k 6k
Knee Replacement 40k 6.2k- 8.5k 10k 11.1k

Source : Source: Medical Tourism Magazine Issue 2  

India : The most preferred medical tourism destination with accredited hospitals

India is already an established medical tourism destination because of an abundance of professionally qualified and internationally trained doctors. The number of hospitals in India that are either JCI accredited or NABH, NABL accredited or both have increased gradually in the recent past. NABH is an acronym for National Accreditation Board for Hospitals & Healthcare Providers is a constituent board of Quality Council of India, set up to establish and operate accreditation programme for healthcare organizations NABH is equivalent to JCI and other International standards including HAS: Haute Authorite de Sante, Australian Council on Healthcare Standards, the Japan Council for Quality in Health Care, and the National Committee for Quality Assurance in the United States. Its standards have been accredited by ISQUA the apex body accrediting the accreditators hence making NABH accreditation at par with the worlds most leading hospital accreditation.

A report on the number of hospitals and wellness centers already accredited or have applied for the same, is as follows :- 

Accreditation Body Number of Hospitals Accredited Number of Applicant Hospitals for Accreditation Number of Wellness Centers Accredited Number of Applicant Wellness Centers for Accreditation
NABH(National Accreditation Board for Hospitals and Healthcare Providers) 183 518 5 12
JCI( Joint Commision International) 19      

Source: National Accreditation Board for Hospitals and Healthcare Providers




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