Medical Tourism in India – Why Is It Such a Big Deal?
Medical tourism is a recent phenomenon where people from first world nations such as the United States, Australia and the UK travel to developing nations such as India and Thailand for medical or dental care, or to get an expensive surgical procedure performed.
Economics is the main factor that drives medical tourism to India and other third world nations. The cost of medical care, dental care and surgery in the United States and other wealthy nations is prohibitively high, while that in India is much lower. Also, the quality of healthcare facilities – at least in the top Indian hospitals– is almost as good in India as it is in the United States.
That explains why India has become one of the prime destinations for medical tourism. Indeed, estimates are that medical tourism in India is big business; worth over $4 billion a year.
Why Go to India for Medical Tourism?
India is ideally suited to medical tourism as it has some of the best doctors, surgeons and dentists in the world, many of whom have been educated in medical schools in the United States, the UK, Germany, France and Australia.
Some of the hospitals and hospital chains in India are positively world class. They compare well with the best hospitals in the West and have all the facilities you would expect at a very affordable cost. Of course, this is not to say that all of India’s hospitals are of a high quality – that is not the case by any means. There is a huge difference in quality between the top hospitals in India and the rest.
Most patients from abroad who travel to India for medical treatment favor the top hospitals only such as Tata, Wockhardt, Fortis, Max and Apollo Hospitals. These large corporate hospital chains have been the biggest beneficiaries of medical tourism to India.
It also helps that the cost of international flight tickets has come down drastically over the last few years. Travel to India is now well within anyone’s budget. Also, India is a stable democracy and a fast growing economy. Medical tourists travelling to India feel safe when they come here.
What Services Could a Medical Tourist from the United States Expect to Get in India?
If you’re an American travelling to India for medical treatment, you can choose from a variety of complex medical treatments and surgical procedures such as liver transplants, kidney transplant, cardiac surgery, knee joint replacement, cosmetic surgeries, bone marrow transplant, dental procedures and many more.
All surgical procedures are carried out by top doctors and highly qualified surgeons who have been trained in the best medical schools in India and abroad.
Indeed, most of the Indian doctors and surgeons in the top Indian hospitals earned their qualifications from medical schools in the United States. Many have worked for several years in American hospitals before coming home to India, such as Dr. Naresh Trehan and Dr. Devi Shetty, two of the leading heart surgeons in India.
The best Indian hospitals such as those in Chennai, Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore, are up to the standards expected by the Joint Commission Accreditation for Hospitals and the Food and Drug Administration in the United States.
Medical tourists to India can benefit from alternative therapies such as Ayurveda, Acupuncture, Yoga and Homeopathy at the world class health spas in the country, such as Rajasthan and Kerala.
What is the Cost of Healthcare in India?
Generally, most surgical procedures in the best hospitals in India cost 10% to 20% as that in the United States. Consider this…
- An angioplasty costs $3,300 in India but $57,000 in the United States.
- A heart bypass costs $5,200 in India but $130,000 in the United States.
- A hip replacement costs $7,000 in India but 50,000 in the United States.
- A knee replacement costs $6,200 in India but 20,000 in the United States.
Contact us for more cost estimates on various surgical procedures.
India is certainly a great place for medical tourism. The country has a large number of JCI Accredited hospitals which provide quality treatment to international patients. The government of India is making things simpler by making visa application available to medical tourists online. The patient is able to travel with two blood relatives and can enter the country three times at visa validity of 1 year. India is surely moving towards being the most preferred medical tourism destination due to the quality and price it offers.
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