Medical Tourism in India

Medical Tourism: Enjoy ‘First World Health Care at Third World Prices’ in India
“Journey to India for world-class medical treatment at low cost is a win-win condition”
India is one of the most lucrative medical tourism markets in the world. Driven by factors such as government support through policies and initiatives, low cost, less waiting time, healthcare infrastructure, and rich cultural heritage, the country has witnessed a remarkable growth in the last 10 years. Though smaller in size compared to the developed countries, the Indian medical sector is enjoying splendid developments at the regional and national level. Further, India still holds enormous potential for growth and development in this sector.
It is observed that quality treatment at par with developed (western) countries that is too at a fraction of the cost of developing countries has been the USP (Unique Selling Proposition) of Indian medical tourism. Recent policies of the Indian Government like ’ Visa on arrival’, ‘Make in India, etc has proved a boost in creating good quality unique travel experiences on an emotional, physical, intellectual, and even spiritual level. Moreover, the Ministry of Tourism is aiming at leveraging India’s potential in traditional systems of wellness and medicines, such as Ayurveda, Siddha, and Yoga to project the country as a unique destination for natural and spiritual healing. Wellness tourism is a fast emerging segment in the Indian medical tourism industry.
The term ‘Medical Tourism’ was first tossed by the media and travel agencies to describe the rapid development and the practice of large travel to different parts of the world to receive specialized treatment for health care. Since it is also one of the most favorable tourist destinations in the world, India Medication-combined-with tourism has come into its own in 2006, term Medical Tourism came into existence in India. India a developing country holds the second most traveled country for medical treatment in the world. Medical Tourism in India provides countless options for all tourists to explore the facilities offered as a result of progress in medical sciences. The prime reason that India is a favorable destination is because of its advanced infrastructure and technology which is virtually equivalent to those in the USA, UK, and Europe. India has some of the best hospitals and treatment centers in the world and some truly superior facilities.
Medical tourism to India gives a chance to experience the health care facilities provided in top medical institutions as well as provides an opportunity to visit the best tourist destinations on this land of Himalaya and rich heritage of world civilization. As a diverse nation, India has many hospitals with excellent healthcare facilities in its different parts.
To provide better healthcare services, the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Model has been adopted by the Indian government at both the central level and the state level. The model seeks to improve healthcare infrastructure through the expertise of the private sector and better support of the public sector. Moreover, we have found that regulatory structure related to the medical tourism industry has been quite liberal and supportive. The country has allocated good budgetary amounts for various policies and initiatives. India differs vastly from other destinations in terms of cost, infrastructure, human resources, patient perceptions, competencies, and the level of government support.
1). India has tens of thousands of skilled doctors and nurse practitioners and every passing year are adding into it.
2).In the last three decades, India has developed its Medical facilities & infrastructure that rival the very best of the west has to offer using the PPP model.
3). Many of the physicians that practices in top hospitals and clinics have returned (to India) from top-notch medical institutions of U.S. and Europe, leaving behind successful practices.
4). Many Doctors regularly visit the U.S. and Europe to attain the seminars on the latest research and development in the field of Medical science, which helps them to update with the current scenario in their respective field.
Factors Making India a Popular Choice for Medical Tourism:
India excels in providing quality and cheap health care services to overseas tourists. A complex transplant or bypass procedure can be achieved for a tiny fraction of the cost for the same procedure in the U.S and UK. This lower cost includes significantly longer post-operative care in the hospital itself. A very important aspect of medicine is the recovery phase. As Indian hospitals are on par with — if not better than — the best hospitals in Thailand, Malaysia, Mexico, and Singapore, that is why India itself becomes the preferred medical destination worldwide. What is more significant is that the costs are much less — almost 1/3 of those in other Asian countries.
India is most suitable because:
• The cost of medical services in India is almost 30% lower to that in western countries and the cheapest in South-east Asia.
• Language is a major comfort factor that invites so many foreign tourists to visit India for medical and health tourism. India has a large populace of good English speaking doctors, medical staff and guides. This makes it easier for foreigners to connect well to Indian doctors & subordinate.
• Indian hospitals excel in cardiology and cardiothoracic surgery, joint replacement, orthopedic surgery, gastroenterology, ophthalmology, transplants, and urology to name a few. The various specialties covered are Neurology, Neurosurgery, Oncology, Ophthalmology, Rheumatology, Endocrinology, ENT, Pediatric Surgery, Pediatric Neurology, Nephrology, Dermatology, Dentistry, Plastic Surgery, Gynecology, Pulmonology, Psychiatry, General Medicine, General Surgery and Stress & lifestyle management,.
• The medical services under diagnostic facilities offered in India are comprehensive to include Laboratory services in India include full body pathology, comprehensive physical and gynecological examinations, dental checkup, eye checkup, diet consultation, audiometry, spirometry, pap smear, digital Chest X-ray, 12 lead ECG, 2D echo , gold standard DXA bone densitometry, body fat analysis, coronary risk markers, cancer risk markers. There is also a full range of services running the gamut from General Radiography, Ultra Sonography, Mammography to high-end services like Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), carotid color Doppler, spiral CT scan, Digital Subtraction Angiography along with intervention procedures, Nuclear Imaging, Cardiology, Neurology, and Pulmonology. The Laboratory services include biochemistry, hematology, microbiology, serology, histopathology, transfusion medicine, and RIA.
All medical treatments and investigations are done using the latest, technologically advanced diagnostic equipment. Each test is carried out by professional M.D. physicians and is comprehensive yet pain-free.
• Indian doctors have got expertise in performing successful cardiac surgeries, bone marrow transplants, liver transplants, orthopedic surgeries, and other medical treatments.
• The cost of Infertility treatments in India is almost 1/4th of that in developed nations. The availability of modern assisted reproductive techniques, such as IVF, and a full range of Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) services have made India the first choice for infertility treatments.
Quality of Service
• In many foreign clinics, the doctors are supported by more registered nurses per patient than in any Western facility. Some clinics provide single-patient rooms that resemble guestrooms in four-star hotels, with a nurse dedicated to each patient 24 hours a day. Added to this, some clinics assign patients a personal assistant for the post-hospital recovery period and throw in a vacation incentive as well. Additionally, many Asian airlines offer frequent-flyer miles to ease the cost of returning for follow-up visits

• India has top-notch centers for open-heart surgery, pediatric heart surgery; hip and knee replacement, cosmetic surgery, dentistry, bone marrow transplants, liver transplants and cancer therapy, and virtually all of India’s clinics are equipped with the latest electronic and medical diagnostic equipment.

• Indian pharmaceuticals meet the stringent requirements of the US Food and Drug Administration. Additionally, India’s quality of care is up to American standards, and some Indian medical centers even provide services that are uncommon elsewhere. For example, hip surgery patients in India can opt for a hip-resurfacing procedure, in which damaged bone is scraped away and replaced with chrome alloy — an operation that costs less and causes less post-operative trauma than the traditional.

Money Matters

• Nearly two in five adults, approximately 77-million adults, in the US struggle with medical bills, have recent or accrued medical debts or both.

• Almost half of the two million Americans who file for bankruptcy do so because of medical expenses.
To avoid heavy medical bills the people in western countries are visiting India for their treatment.
The Medical Wait time in developed countries:
In the US and Europe medical wait time is very high if one needs to get medical treatment.
• Medical research has shown that longer waits can lead to adverse consequences for cardiac patients. And also the cost rises to the estimated cost for the surgery due to years spent in waiting for the surgery.
• Currently, the median wait time in England with the National Health Service for orthopedic surgery is 25.8 weeks, while the wait time for cardiac surgery is 14.4 weeks.
• About 1,500 Britons go abroad each year for medical treatment paid for them by the National Health Service, which critics say has been slow to reduce waiting times and to help patients find alternative treatment abroad.
There is very minimal or almost no waiting time for treatment in India as is common in European or American hospitals. In India, priority treatment is provided in hospitals.
The Insurance Factor
• As per a study, 46-million Americans have no health insurance and high medical bills contribute to almost 750,000 bankruptcies a year.

• More than 108-million people in the US don’t have dental insurance.

• Right now only 61 percent of the jobs in America have health insurance down from 69 percent three years ago and Companies can no longer afford to provide health benefits.

• Health insurance premiums will rise to an average of more than $14,500 for family coverage in 2007.

• Nearly one-quarter of the uninsured people are changing their way of life significantly in order to pay medical bills.
Medical Treatment for All:
In some cases, even for insured people, the cost of treatment overseas is less than their out-of-pocket amount in the USA. If you are a Baby Boomer you do not yet qualify for Medicare or Medicaid for your urgently needed surgery. For others who have lost their group coverage due to retirement, the surgery or procedure they need may not be covered under the Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid benefits. Under such circumstances, medical tourism is the most viable option.
Be cautious in choosing country Medical treatment and Tourism
These days it seems like every country in the world promotes itself as a haven for medical tourism. The reality is that in most cases they offer sub-standard facilities, limited skills, and qualifications. Some small countries may be viable as alternatives for minor surgical procedures, India is the only mainstream option that offers a comprehensive solution for any and all medical needs and does this with the Service of the highest level, facilities, and sharp professional skills.
Conclusion:
India is a perfect destination for medical tourism that combines health treatment with visits to some of the most alluring and awe-inspiring places of the world. A growing number of tourists are flocking in large numbers because of the superlative medical care, hi-tech equipment and facilities that India offers. The field has such lucrative potential that it can become a $9 billion business by 2020, states a study by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). In 2014, some 184,298 foreigners visited India for treatment, and the numbers have been rising by 15 percent each year.

Traveling Time to India

Average estimated travel time in hours by Airways to India

From/To India
New York City 16
Los Angeles 18
Miami 18
Dallas 18
London 7
Paris 10
Rome 9
Dubai 4
Riyadh 5
Bangladesh 2
Pakistan 2
Johannesburg 10
Sydney 13

Entry and Exit Requirements to India

Except for citizens from Nepal and Bhutan, all foreigners from other countries, including the European Union, the United States, and Canada, require a visa to enter India. India allows “a visa on arrival” (E-visa), for almost 113 countries nationals thus visas should first be obtained from the Indian Embassy or consulate in the medical travelers country of origin.
Requirements to obtain a visa include a passport valid for a minimum of 190 days, the visa fee, passport photographs, and a completed application form. Supporting documents may be necessary to determine or justify the required length of stay, but for medical cases, multiple entries for a period of 6 months to one year may be provided.

For more information on E-visa visit https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/evisa/tvoa.html