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ENVIRONMENT & TRAVEL November 2005
Three in one: treatment, savings and vacation.
by Sughandi NADARADJANE

India is competing with the other Asian countries in order to promote medical tourism.

India is widely known for its traditional methods of healing, such as ayur-vedic medicine, but now, India is attracting clients to its healthcare centres by providing high-quality medical treatments. More and more people are going to India to undergo such medical treatments as hip replacement, cardiotherapy, knee surgery, dental care or even plastic surgery. India is flourishing in the field of medical tourism, surpassing Thailand, Singapore and some other Asian countries. Why do foreigners rush to developing countries?

Medical tourism is a combination of leisure, relaxation, adventure and access to medical care. International patients are mostly from developed countries like the USA, Canada, the UK, Western Europe, the Middle-East and Australia. They are looking for good treatment at a lower price. India provides private hi-tech hospitals and insures high quality treatment. Moreover, medical expenses are only a fraction of those in the developed countries and 30% less than Thailand. For instance, heart surgery costing $30,000 in the US, will only cost $6,000 in India. The price of treatment in the US is equivalent to a vacation in India, medical care plus savings. So more and more people such as Non Resident Indians, British and uninsured Americans, are travelling abroad to receive their medical treatment.

Waiting lists are a thing of the past: some hospitals take care of their patients from the minute they arrive at the airport. Moreover they receive a VIP treatment: some hospitals are even equipped with reading rooms, gift shops or prayer rooms. Everything is modernized from the paint scheme on the walls to modern cafeterias and gastronomy menus. Every detail counts to ensure a good image of hospitals which are providing a world-class treatment.

Health care centres create many job opportunities and Indian doctors living abroad are returning home. One may wonder what will be the state of medical practice in developed countries in the future ?

Sources :
"Journey to Five-Star Bypass," The Times of India 23 October 2005.
"Are We Ready for Medical Tourism?" The Hindu 17 October 2005.
"Health Care Outsourcing," The Hindu 05 April 2005.


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