REASONS FOR CHOOSING INDIA FOR MEDICAL TRAVEL
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When people travel outside of their place of residence for treatment, it is called either medical tourism or medical travel. India has fast emerged as one of the top destinations for medical travel. It is not only an excellent destination for medical travel, but also for health travel.
Yes, health travel is bit different. It is when you travel outside of your country for general health benefit. India offers best of both the modern and traditional medicine. Thus, if a person has to undergo some complex procedure like surgery of heart or joint, India is an excellent choice. At the same time, it could be a good choice for relieving stress, general health improvement. It is a country with one of the oldest natural medicine systems called Ayurveda.
India has some of the best medical facilities in the world, that offer almost any medical treatment or procedure. Unlike many tourist destinations, India produces most of its specialists domestically, and they have global repute in various fields. So no surprise that even in the US one-fifth of surgeons are Indians. Best of all Indian medical staff is fluent in English.
Medical travel in India is supported and promoted by the government. It has special visa policies for those traveling to India for medical benefits. India is a country of contrast. It has a two-tier healthcare system. Public funded hospitals providing free medical care to those who cannot afford, and huge private sector (one of the biggest in the world) that caters to the needs of well-off people. Many private hospitals in India are now focusing on the medical travelers.
Apart from language and quality of services, India offers cost benefits, tailor-made services, all this comes with no waiting list and an opportunity to discover one of the ancient civilizations in the world.
Cost-saving is the top stated reason for medical traveling. In India, these savings could be huge, as much as 85%. Sure lots depend on the type of procedure. Open heart surgery which can cost around 150,000 USD in the US, between 50,000-100,000 USD in various European nations, or 20,000-30 000 USD in Asian destinations, may cost below 10,000 USD in India. Similarly, there could be huge cost savings in knee surgery, cosmetic surgery procedures to name the few.
It would not be wise to compare just the costs of procedures alone, there are always hidden expenses, some medicines person may need to buy from outside or has to take after the medical treatment. India is the powerhouse of pharmaceutical industry. It can offer highest quality medicines at a fraction of the price of most nations. Above all, one can find almost any medicine in the country. Unlike some nations, there is neither deficit nor issues with the quality of medical products.
Further, decreasing costs of international travel are making it easy to travel outside for medical treatment. India is well connected with the world.
What does India offer?
The good thing about India is the wide range of procedures available in that country. It is not a nation that specializes in some group of disease conditions or procedures. In India, one can avail world-class treatment for almost any ailment. Thus it is offering:
- Cardiology- India offers both the medical and surgical treatment (open heart surgery)
- Cosmetic and Reconstructive Surgery
- Fertility and Reproductive Health
- Oncology or Cancer treatment
- Orthopedics, especially joint replacement
- Spine Surgery
- Weight Loss Surgery
When we talk about India, quality of medical treatment and procedures is often the subject of worry and skepticism. But in last two decades, lots have changed in India. In fact, it has been continually rated among the top five nations for quality of facilities and services by Medical Tourism Index (MTI). Thus in 2016 MTI rated India as top 5 destinations for medical tourism, and placed it at third place globally for the quality of facilities and services.
The Indian government has also taken lots of steps to ensure the quality of medical services in the country. Thus in 2006, it established the national accreditation agency called “National Accreditation Board for Hospitals & Healthcare Providers (NABH).” It is the agency that follows the highest of international standards in accrediting and certifying. It verifies that medical facilities in the nation are following the best practices, and are in no way inferior to the developed nations. It is Indian equivalent of Australian Council on Healthcare Standards, the Japan Council for Quality in Healthcare, Haute Authorite de Sante, and the National Committee for Quality Assurance in the United States. Today India has more than 500 hospitals accredited by this agency.
Indian medical facilities also understand the importance of voluntary accreditation by other international bodies. Today India has about 36 hospitals accredited by the US accreditation agency called JCI (Joint Commission International). Hospitals accredited by this agency have to maintain the similar standards as that of the US medical institutions.
Tourism in India
Surely one of the great benefits of medical travel is the possibility to see new places and meet new people. Not all the procedures require a person to be bedridden, moreover, many people travel for medical needs along with their family members.
India has lots to offer in the sphere of tourism. It would be better to call India as sub-continent rather than a nation. It is a country of huge diversity. It has something to offer for every taste. Diverse geography means that the country has one of the highest and most beautiful mountains along with the longest beach line in the world.
It is one of the oldest civilizations. Medical travel provides an opportunity to discover its culture and heritage. India is a big country, thus the culture, languages, way of life, differ from region to region.
It is a perfect country to visit in just any season. In summer north of the country offers Himalayas (highest mountain range in the world) to the temperate sub-tropical climate of the south India. While in winter when most of the Europe is snow covered, Indian beaches offer the warm retreat.
Thus it is a destination of choice for any medical procedure with the possibility of relaxation. It is a combination of quality with cost saving.
For healthcare in India, please visit Mya Care for a range of hospitals and doctors across all specialities.
- Gupta, V., & Das, P. (2012). Medical tourism in India. Clinics in Laboratory Medicine, 32(2), 321–325. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cll.2012.04.007
- JCI-Accredited Organizations | Joint Commission International. (2017). http://www.jointcommissioninternational.org/about-jci/jci-accredited-organizations/
- Medical Tourism Index | Destination Ranking. (2017). https://www.medicaltourismindex.com/overview/destination-ranking/
- Gupta, A. S. (2008). Medical tourism in India: winners and losers | Indian Journal of Medical Ethics. Indian Journal of Medical Ethics, 5(1). https://doi.org/10.20529/IJME.2008.002
- National Accreditation Board for Hospitals & Healthcare Providers (NABH). (2017). http://www.nabh.co/frmViewAccreditedHosp.aspx
- Patients Beyond Borders. (2017, April 3). India. https://www.medicaltourismindex.com/destination/india/
- Best Hospitals and Surgery in India | Patients Beyond Borders. (2011, March 11). https://patientsbeyondborders.com/india
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