medical-tourism

MEDICAL TOURISM

Medical Tourism is the travel of people to another country for the purpose of obtaining medical treatment in that country.Traditionally people would travel from less developed countries to major medical centers in highly developed countries for medical treatment that was unavailable in their own communities

Medical tourism, alternatively called health tourism and wellness tourism, is a term that has risen from the rapid growth of an industry where people from all around the world are traveling to other countries to obtain medical, dental, and surgical care while at the same time touring, vacationing, and fully experiencing the attractions of the countries that they are visiting. It is a silent revolution that has been sweeping the healthcare landscape of India for almost a decade. With countries like India, Mexico, Singapore, Brazil, Argentina, Greece, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Peru, Hungary, Israel, Jordan, Lithuania, Malaysia, South Africa, Thailand and the Philippines actively promoting it, its future is sure to be bright. The domestic medical industry in India is trying all out to grab its pie from the evolving global health bazaar.


THE MEDICAL TOURISM SYSTEM

Tourism system is the framework that identifies tourism as being made up of a number of components, often taken to include the tourist, the tourist generating region, the transit route region, the tourist destination and the tourism industry.

As could be noted above, medical tourists move from originating regions (say, countries of their regular residence) to destination regions (where healthcare is available). The transit refers to both the actual mode and trajectory of transportation used for this movement as well as the constraining and facilitating forces in the international travel. A destination is a medical tourism destination not just because of the healthcare facility.


MEDICAL TOURISM IN INDIA

According to the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII), India is unique as it offers holistic medicinal services. With yoga, meditation, ayurveda, allopathy, and other systems of medicines, India offers a unique basket of services to an individual that is difficult to match by other countries, says CII. Also, clinical outcomes in India are at par with the world’s best centers, besides having internationally qualified and experienced specialists.

While a large number of the private hospitals in India are willing to provide medical treatment to patients irrespective of nationality, only a few are in the forefront of promoting the health-hospitality mix. Some of the corporate hospitals in India that lead the medical tourism revolution are:

Apart from the private players, public sector hospitals like All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) has been receiving patients from over 16 countries including European nations and there is a steady increase in the number of patients, mainly for complex surgical procedures. The AIIMS has also initiated a dedicated International Healthcare Service team, which will take care of the patient right from arrival till their departure coordinating all aspects of medical treatment.


Wellness Treatment Rehabilitation
Spas Elective surgery Dialysis
Lifestyle/Healthy vacation Cosmetic surgery Addiction programs
Ecotourism Joint replacement Elderly care programs
Community Tourism Cardiothoracic services Counseling services
Resorts Eye surgery
Herbal Treatments Diagnostic services
Complementary Healing Reproductive treatment

WHAT IS THE PROCESS? / HOW CAN WE START WORK ON THIS?

The person seeking medical treatment abroad contacts a “medical tourism provider “.
The provider usually requires the patient to provide a medical report, including the ailment, local doctor’s opinion, medical history and diagnosis and many request additional information.
Certified physicians or consultants then advice on the medical treatment.
The approximate expenditure, choice of hospitals and tourist destinations and duration of stay etc. is discussed.
After signing consent, bonds and agreements the patient is given recommendation letters for a medical VISA to be procured from the concerned embassy.
Medical Tourism in India

WHAT ARE THE GROWTH, OPPORTUNITIES AND PROCESS OF MEDICAL TOURISM IN INDIA?

As a part of medical tourism, India is recognized as the cradle for test tube babies and is popular for surrogacy services. Over than these, India offers high-tech cardiac, paediatric, dental, cosmetic and orthopaedic surgical services as well as the traditional healing systems. The medical tourism definitely does not cater to emergency services. The services provided are largely knee joint replacement, hip replacement (mostly orthopaedic), bone marrow transplant, bypass surgery and cosmetic surgery etc. Hospitals also advertise for preventive health checkups for family members accompanying the patients in addition to alternative medicine services.


PROCEDURE US INDIA THAILAND SINGAPORE
Heart bypass 130000 10000 11000 18500
Heart valve replacement 160000 9000 10000 12500
Angioplasty 57000 11000 13000 13000
Hip replacement 43000 9000 12000 12000
Hysterectomy 20000 3000 4000 6000
Knee replacement 40000 8500 10000 13000
Spinal fusion 62000 5500 7000 9000

DESCRIBE CLEARLY THE MEDICAL TOURISM THROUGH “SWOT ANALYSIS”

Strengths

Quality Service at Affordable Cost
Vast supply of qualified doctors.
Strong presence in advanced healthcare e.g. cardiovascular, organ transplants – high success rate in operations
International Reputation of hospitals
Diversity of tourism destinations and experiences and Doctors

Weakness

No strong government support initiative to promote medical tourism
Low Coordination between the various players in the industry– airline operators, hotels and hospitals.
Customer Perception as an unhygienic country.
No proper accreditation and regulation system for hospitals.
Lack of uniform pricing policies across hospitals.

Opportunities

Increased demand for healthcare services from countries with aging population (U.S, U.K)
Fast-paced lifestyle increases demand for wellness tourism and alternative cures
Shortage of supply in National Health Systems in countries like U.K, Canada
Demand from countries with underdeveloped healthcare facilities
Demand for retirement homes for elderly people especially Japanese

Threats

Strong competition from countries like Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore
Lack of international accreditation
Overseas medical care not covered by insurance providers
Under-investment in health infrastructure