Tourisms that are tied to health spas or resort destinations with the primary aim of improving the physical wellbeing of the patient through dietary control, exercise and medical services is called medical tourism. Traditionally, medical tourists would seek for medical treatments that are unavailable in their own countries. The trend used to be movement from less developed countries to developed countries but the trend is changing.
Reason why people seek medical tourism
Medical tourism becomes a necessity for many patients who have conditions that cannot be treated in their home country due to lack of technology or medical expertise. Also, there are medical procedures that are by law not allowed in certain countries. For example, IVF cannot be carried out in Turkey because of legal restrictions and patients in such countries would need to travel to other countries.
International healthcare accreditation helps boost medical tourism
The requirements for any country to obtain International Healthcare Accreditation are diverse. The country would need to satisfy a level of quality for healthcare. IHCA organizations certify a wide range of healthcare programs such as hospitals, primary care centers, medical transport and ambulatory care services.
Medical tourism in India is a growing sector
Projections of the growth of the India’s medical tourism were expected to hit two billion dollars judging from her thirty percent annual growth. The greatest influx of medical tourists to India comes from the developed nations including Canada, Great Britain, Western Europe, Australia, Middle East and the United States.The city of Chennai has been nicknamed the heart of India’s medical tourism and it is known to get 150 international patients daily.
The major attraction to India medical tourism is low cost
The cost of medical treatment in India is greatly reduced and can be as low as one tenth of what the same surgery would cost in America or Britain. The procedure is carried out almost immediately and the medical facilities are world class and their doctors are highly specialized having received training from different parts of the world.
Language barrier is not always a problem in India
One of the considerations medical tourists always have in mind is the possibility of language barrier. Majority of India’s population speak English – though not all fluent – but it would be enough to hold a conversation with them. Also, a number of India medical tourist hospitals have hired translators for the comfort of patients.
Many healthcare procedures can be carried out in India
India is one of the few medical tourism destinations that have diversified so well to accommodate a whole lot of medical procedures. Medical procedures like cosmetics and plastic surgery, eye surgery, cardiac bypass, gynecology, bone marrow transplant and dentistry are easily carried out in India. There are about 18 hospitals in India that have been accredited by JCI.
Government initiatives have helped to improve India medical tourism
Government policies can make or mar the development of medical tourism in any country. That of India has been beneficial. One of such favorable policies is the idea of visa on arrival. Visa on arrival allows foreigners to stay in India for 30 days for any medical treatment.The government is also taking steps to bridge the infrastructural gap that is hindering the growth of the nation in medical tourism.
Medical tourists can fit recreation into their schedule
There are dedicated exhibition spaces for medical tourism, road shows and other cultural displays organized by the ministry of tourism to promote tourism in India. Medical tourists can easily fit into any of these.
- India is ranked second in the global medical tourism destination.
- Visa on arrival has helped India to increase the inflow of medical tourists.
- Indian government is striving to bridge the infrastructural gap.
- 18 hospitals so far in India are JCI accredited.
- Language barrier is not a problem in Indian hospitals.
- Majority of India’s patients come from developed countries.
- The low cost of treatment in India is attracting medical tourist.
- Varied procedures can be done in India without limitation.
- There are varied reasons why people undertake medical tourism.
- Patients will have time for recreation.
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