Medical Tourism? - CiteHR
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Hi CiteHR friends,

All of us have heard about 'medical tourism in India' in the last few months (or maybe couple of years now).

Recently there was lot of discussion on how and why India should develop the medical facilities to encourage 'medical tourism'.

Obviously with lots of foreigners coming into the country for treatment, the country earns foreign exchange.

Read this interesting piece of news which has come recently in a local newspaper in the US.


Why have routine (and not so routine) medical and dental services performed in the U.S. when you can have them done cheaper elsewhere and get a free vacation out of it to boot?

Medical Tourism - India is a developing concept whereby people from world over visit India for their medical and relaxation needs. The most common treatments are heart surgery, knee transplant, cosmetic surgery, and dental care. The reason India is a favorable destination is because of its infrastructure and technology, which is in par with those of the USA, U.K., and Europe. India has some of the best hospitals and treatment centers in the world and the best facilities.

A heart care surgery, which costs in the region of $30,000 in the USA, can cost as low as $8,000 in India?

Cardiac care has become a specialty in India with institutions like the Escorts Heart Institute and Research Centre, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, and Apollo Hospital becoming names to reckon with. They combine the latest innovations in medical electronics with unmatched expertise in leading cardiologists and cardiothoracic surgeons. These centers have the distinction of providing comprehensive cardiac care spanning from basic facilities in preventive cardiology to the most sophisticated curative technology. The technology is contemporary and world-class, and the volumes handled match global benchmarks. They also specialize in offering surgery to high-risk patients with the introduction of innovative techniques like minimally invasive and robotic surgery.

Renowned Indian hospitals like Apollo and Escorts Heart Institute are equipped to handle all phases of heart diseases from the elementary to the latest clinical procedures like interventional cardiac catheterization and surgical cardiac transplants. Their success rate at an average of 98.5% is at par with leading cardiac centers around the world.

Leading heart centers like The Escorts Heart Institute have cardiac care units with sophisticated equipment and investigative facilities like echocardiography with colored doppler, nuclear scanning, and coronary angiography. The Jayadeva Institute of Cardiology in Bangalore, the Cardiology Hospital in Kanpur, the Heart Hospital in Calicut, and the Sree Sudihindra Medical Mission Hospital in Cochin are some hospitals in India devoted exclusively to cardiac treatment.

Elective Surgeries by World-Class Doctors at Third World Prices ?????

This summer, millions headed out to foreign lands for vacation, adventure, tourism, or just a beautiful beach.

But how about hip surgery or a multiple bypass or a facelift?

A growing number of tourists are doing just that, combining holidays with health care, and that's because a growing number of countries are offering first-rate medical care at third-world prices. Many of these medical tourists can't afford health care at home (the 40 million uninsured Americans, for example). Others are going for procedures not covered by their insurance: cosmetic surgery or infertility treatment, for example.

Stephanie Sedlmayr didn't want to spend the tens of thousands of dollars it would take to get the hip surgery she needed. And she didn't have insurance, either. So with her daughter by her side, she flew from Vero Beach, Fla., to the Apollo Hospital in Chennai. She'd never been to India before, but she already knew quite a bit about Indian doctors.

"My doctor, actually, in Vero Beach, she's an Indian doctor. So why not go where they come from" asks Sedlmayr, who says her friends questioned her decision. Hardly anybody said, "Oh, great idea."

But she didn't just come here to save money; she came for an operation she couldn't get at home. It's called hip resurfacing, and it has changed people's lives.

It hasn't been approved yet by the FDA, but in India, Dr. Vijay Bose has performed over 300 of them. He showed 60 Minutes the difference between a hip resurfacing and hip replacement, which is the standard operation performed in the United States. He says his patients usually recover faster because his procedure is far less radical and doesn't involve cutting the thighbone.

Instead, Bose fits a metal cap over the end, which fits into a metal socket in the hip. The result, he says, is that patients end up with enough mobility to do virtually anything.

"?So my patients, you know, play football, basketball, whatever you want. Not a problem" says Bose.

Until the FDA approves it, the only way to have this operation in the United States is by getting into a clinical trial. But be warned: It isn't cheap.

How much does it cost in the States

"I believe it costs something from $28,000-32,000 U.S. dollars" says Bose.

And in India, Sedlmayr says it costs $5,800: Private nurse after surgery. And feeling always that they were just totally attentive. If you rang the bell next to your bed, whoop, somebody was there immediately.


The article goes on and on on the subject and ends with a very pertinent comment.


Globalization has just begun in many respects. We keep moving up the ladder, from manufacturing, to research and development, and now to medical operations. The Fed can pump all it wants, but if the cost is low enough somewhere else, the cost of that service simply must come down.


So that is what it is!

Any thoughts?


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Hi Bala
It's really surprising to see an article on “Medical Tourism” in this coloumn. I have got a few chances to interact with the foreigners those who come to India for treatment, and generally their comment is the same which has been mentioned in the article - Low cost, quality treatment and zero waiting time etc.,. From the discussion i guess the only area we are lacking is transportations, ya right from Air services to our road conditions. In their view some of our roads are horrible to drive, and the traffic is miserable.
But overall at the end they are very much satisfied with our staffs service, which includes our way of approach towards patients, treatment etc.,. So as long as we are good in this we will keep going.
And thank u bala for posting a very informative stuff.
sk raj
Hi Bala
Can i get more relevant information about "Medica Tourism"?
With the help of you support i would like to make project in my course of MTM in IGNOU 2nd Year.
Deepak Kumar
2nd Year Student of MTM (mater of Tourism Management )
Prime Sponsor - "Interactive Anywhere Learning". Executive courses from top reputed institutes like IIM, XLRI, MICA. View Courses
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