Telemedicine: A game-changer in healthcare delivery

A healthcare emergency can strike anyone, anytime, anywhere.

Take the instance of Bashir ul-Quadir, a 48-year-old taxation consultant who was holidaying in one of the remote islands of Greece. He suddenly fell ill but found it difficult to find a doctor in the vicinity. However, thanks to some quick thinking and a fairly strong broadband link, he availed of a video consultation service that saved his time and money. He recuperated in two days and was back parasailing in the pristine waters of the Mediterranean.

Or take the example of Nasreen Malik whose seven-year-old son developed a severe stomach ache at 1:00am. Unable to get in touch with her regular paediatric at that unearthly hour, she was able to get access to an immediate resolution via online video consultancy after the doctor on the other end of the line understood her son’s case history and symptoms. The result was that the child could sleep peacefully at night and go to school the next day morning.

Hence, the benefits of video consultancy as an effective mode of healthcare delivery are evident in terms of speedy remediation, accompanied by savings of time and cost.

Advantage of video consultancy

There are a number of upfront advantages of video consultancy VS traditional healthcare:

  • Near zero wait times:

For traditional healthcare, the wait time is typically about 60 minutes for OPD and about 4-5 hours for a specialist. Video consultancy on the other hand is immediate and booking an appointment with a specialist is instant. Moreover, in a traditional healthcare environment, the queues are also longer, thereby consuming more time. Plus, when one considers the travel time to and from the clinic, there is again a substantive time saving, especially for those living in crowded urban centres.

  • Un-fixed timings:

For conventional healthcare delivery, consultation at a medical centre or a hospital is almost always at a fixed time. In this context, telemedicine, or video consultation, empowers the patient with the unmatched convenience of ‘un-fixed’ timing in terms of anytime or 24×7 consultation. This is most beneficial for emergency situations when help may not be immediately available.

  • Cost savings:

Orthodox healthcare service delivery is more expensive than video consultancy. For one, there is the cost associated with travel and transportation and this becomes zero when one avails of video consultation. Second, video consultation services are normally much lower priced than conventional healthcare. One of the other major advantages is the fact that follow-up services for video consultation is almost immediate and lower-priced (in some cases free of cost), thereby benefitting the patient significantly.

  • Better utilisation of resources:

Telemedicine can allow stronger utilisation of doctors and other medical professionals, hence benefitting the patient directly, as well as ensuring a larger patient universe for the consultants. This mutually-beneficial healthcare delivery model is equally suited to all participants in the ecosystem.

  • Bridging the healthcare divide

Conventional healthcare infrastructure and resources are generally considered to be of sub-quality in rural and suburban areas. Telemedicine solves this issue by virtue of its ability to deliver quality healthcare to the remotest corners of a country. By making quality healthcare accessible and affordable, telemedicine has a transformative power in the health and wellness aspirations of a society that is especially located in remote areas. Moreover, telemedicine transcends borders and the patient can receive consultation from doctors from abroad too.

Telemedicine and Bangladesh

With limited medical resources and much of the population living in remote and rural areas, telemedicine has the potential to revolutionise the delivery of healthcare in a country like Bangladesh. Since a healthy nation always positively contributes to lowering the governmental burden on healthcare expenses and tends to also ensure enhanced resource productivity, telemedicine has a direct bearing on the GDP and wellbeing of a country, especially Bangladesh that has now transitioned into a middle-income nation with the demographic dividend expected to bear a stronger influence on economic growth.

By getting a larger number of patients into the folds of telemedicine, the authorities can hope to build a stronger and well-profiled database of citizens, especially those living in the furthest corners of the country. This database can be accessed for profiling and development of targeted governmental health programmes that could further benefit those suffering from particular ailments, like cataract. Also, understanding seasonal trends and its impact on the health of a population cluster through telemedicine can also enable the government to develop preventive healthcare initiatives, especially for dreaded diseases like dengue, malaria, etc.

Thanks to the government’s Digital Bangladesh emphasis, the country’s broadband speed and penetration is on the rise with a large number of people being tech-savvy and well-versed with different ‘screens’. Moreover, rural broadband penetration is also on the rise, which bodes well for telemedicine, enabling the technology to facilitate HD video calling, thereby allowing doctors to listen, engage and diagnose the issues of patients and provide an effective treatment plan.

With a large and growing population of 168-million and very high population densities, telemedicine is the answer to revolutionising healthcare in Bangladesh by providing a healing touch to the largest number in the quickest possible time.

So, call GD Assist today for an appointment.

Hotline:16457; +8801617666888


Thailand: The world’s preferred healthcare destination

While on vacation, what would you rather do? Laze on the beaches, stroll along the promenade, enjoy the balmy evenings sipping ice tea, shop your heart out and sample the latest dish that has gone viral on Instagram, wouldn’t you?

Or would your idea of a vacation ever be of going to a hospital for treatment? A growing number of people are crossing international borders for receiving medical services ranging from a hip replacement to cosmetic surgery in such type of a country that is also the most fun holiday destination in the world.

Thailand: A vibrant medical ecosystem

Thailand’s economy comprises a robust and thriving medical industry that is among the largest in Southeast Asia and is renowned across the world. From the world’s leading medical tourism sector to vibrant sectors comprising those of pharmaceuticals and medical devices and implants, supplemented by academic research, the Thai medical sector is emerging as the preferred medical destination for foreign patients, promoting wellness and hospitality in a holistic way.

Relative to its Asian neighbours and compared to global leaders, Thailand has a large healthcare sector that is the priority of the Thai government. The country ranks ‘first’ in the ASEAN group in public healthcare expenditure with as much as 14 per cent of the Thai budget allocated to healthcare, which is much ahead of India and comparable to that of China. Sustained investments have thus catapulted Thailand to the forefront of Asian countries with the government committed to promoting healthcare that is at the cutting-edge, yet cost-effective in terms of affordability.

To showcase its intent, the government, along with the Thai Board of Investment, recently established a 10-year programme, ‘Thailand, a Hub of Wellness and Medical Services’ (2016-25) that is anchored on four major areas of:

  • Wellness
  • Medical services
  • Academics
  • Medical products

Thus, foreign patients visiting Thailand for treatment can not only expect a vibrant medical ecosystem but can also be assured in their belief of being provided with modern healthcare facilities that are safe and secure and pocket-friendly and high-impact.

Medical tourism: A mandate of Thai government

To supplement the government’s efforts, the Thailand Board of Investment has declared its support to push Thailand as the medical hub of Asia to provide medical services, latest medical technology and medicine and every activity related to modern medicine, alternative medicine and biotechnology.

The government is also making Thailand the medical hub of Asia as it is confident that Thailand has outstanding fundamental competitive advantages in the medical field and its human resource is recognised to be of international standards. Yet another objective is to encourage health establishments in Thailand to improve their services to higher standards. As per the latest figures, Thailand has 256 private hospitals with most of them internationally-accredited and 33 spas that are classified as world-class.

Given Thailand’s reputation for polite and attentive service, it is not hard to see why Bangkok has quickly become the medical tourism hub of Asia. Bangkok’s arterial Suvarnabhumi Airport is serviced by airlines from around the world, reasonably-priced hotel rooms abound, there is reliable public transportation and 30-day visas for many nationalities are easy to get upon arrival, all of which help to make a visit and stay efficient and effective.

Western accreditation is also a vital component for reinforcing patient confidence in undergoing foreign medical treatment and Bangkok’s Bumrangrad and Samitivej hospitals are among Southeast Asia’s first recipients of the United States’ prestigious Joint Commission International (JCI) certification, which is seen as the gold standard for healthcare service providers around the world.

Hospitals in Thailand are also popular with those who travel from neighbouring Asian countries to seek treatment. Bangkok Hospital, which specifically caters to medical tourists, has an entire Japanese wing, while Phyathai Hospitals Group  has translators for 22 languages, including Swedish, Khmer and Flemish, as well as a team of English-speaking staff.

Thai healthcare is built around patient comfort

Some hospitals in Bangkok can feel like a shopping mall or a five-star hotel, offering VIP suites and also housing world-leading fast-food joints and cafés like McDonald’s and Starbucks.

Bangkok has the largest private hospital in Southeast Asia, Bumrungrad, which is a hub of medical tourism in Thailand with patients coming here for receiving treatment from all corners of the globe. Besides, in as early as 2002, Bumrungrad became the first hospital in Asia to be accredited by the JCI, which promotes rigorous standards of care in more than 90 countries around the globe.

It is evident hence that Thailand, together with Singapore and India, account for an estimated 80 per cent of the global medical tourism market and Thailand alone for about 40 per cent of this pool. Assessing its credentials as an international medical hub, the Thai government noted that the country led its Asian counterparts on service, matched India on cost and Singapore on quality of staff. Also, though Thailand and Singapore each had 13 hospitals accredited by JCI, over the past few years, Thailand outpaced this lead when 17 more Thai facilities received the endorsement as compared with Singapore’s nine.

With uncertain economic growth across regions, medical tourists are increasingly relying on treatment costs to make their travel decisions. Meshed with this reality is the fact that cost is where Thailand really excels. For instance, a heart bypass surgery, including a week’s stay in any of the leading hospitals in Bangkok, can be way cheaper compared to similar treatment options in the US for a patient without health insurance. Besides, Thailand also offers much lower waiting times which means that late diagnosis for ailments can be treated with urgency and without delays.

Thailand is the most affordable medical destination with many procedures costing 40-60 per cent less than the same treatment in the EU. The Tourism Authority of Thailand has reported that patients from Southeast Asia make up 80 per cent of Thailand’s medical tourists. Thailand has earned a strong reputation over the years by providing a wealth of procedures such as cosmetic treatments, dentistry and traditional Thai medicine.

Thailand: The lure of a vacation and off-time

Part of Thailand’s medical tourism success is due to its wider popularity as the world’s leading holiday destination. In addition to experiencing Thai hospitals and clinics first-hand, a large number of global travellers are enticed by the nation’s charming islands, pristine white beaches, breath-taking natural landscapes and a wide variety of shopping and entertainment destinations that has helped Thailand emerge as a complete ‘package’ for healthcare and wellness while assuring patients and their families some much-needed off-time to beat stress.

Committing to airfares, accommodation, out of network or uninsured medical bills and time-off work is a big decision for travellers to make. Yet it seems for many, the benefits and savings outweigh the risks as medical tourists throng Thailand to seek treatment for ailments, for general check-ups and for cosmetic medical procedures.

At GD Assist, we are specialised in medical tourism for Thailand with our strong network alliance with hospitals around the nation and other air and surface logistics providers that enable our customers to choose a wide variety of packages depending on their budgets and requirements.

So call GD Assist today for an appointment.

Hotline: 16457; +8801617666888. Email:


All You Need to Know About Medical Tourism in India

German. French. Polish. English. Dutch. Chinese. Bangladeshi. Thai. African… You might be tempted to think that these are the various languages of the world. However, you’d be surprised to know that a typical large Indian hospital is a medical sanctuary of patients coming from all of these nationalities and more as they draw benefit from the significant medical value that India has to offer.

It has been estimated that one in three foreign patients in India is from Bangladesh, representing the highest pool of patients from abroad in India. The number of Bangladeshi patients visiting India for medical treatment purposes has grown sharply from 0.5 million in 2008 to as many as 1.13 million in 2015. Hence, this post is a valuable information bank for patients and their families visiting India, enabling them to understand the medical benefits offered by the country and derive the maximum benefit out of their visit.

India: A holistic medical value destination

Over the years, India has emerged as a world-class destination for medical value travel, pivoted on the three most essential factors that a patient seeks:

  • World-class hospital infrastructure
  • Acclaimed medical specialists and
  • Costs that are one-fifth to one-tenth of the prevalent costs

This, in brief, is the holistic medical and healthcare proposition offered by India. From the range of procedural and treatment options, quality of healing and curative therapies and skilled manpower to perform any medical procedure with minimal waiting period, the list of benefits of travelling for medical treatment to India are many, projecting the country as one of the world’s most preferred medical value destinations offering successful and seamless healthcare solutions. With such a comprehensive offering, the patient can be assured of being in safe and secure hands.

India, by virtue of adoption of cutting-edge technology, is focused on universalizing healthcare for patients, making medical procedures and therapies both accessible as well as affordable.

India: Robust and user-friendly healthcare facilities

India’s top-notch healthcare system is as good as the best in the world. The country sustains a robust accreditation system with a large number of accredited facilities – 275 such facilities are present in the country that match global healthcare infrastructure. India has 22 Joint Commission International (JCI)-accredited hospitals and compares well with other countries in Asia. This set of approved hospitals in India can provide cure and care at par or above global standards, ensuring what is the most important for a patient – peace-of-mind.

India’s world-class, globally-accredited and user-friendly healthcare facilities provide a warm and empathetic environment for patients to recover and heal.

India: At the forefront of medical technology

India is renowned for offering state-of-the-art medical technology to support diagnostics and other medical procedures that are employed by specialists. All recognized hospitals have invested comprehensively in operative, supportive as well as restorative technologies and processes. Complicated heart surgeries, cancer care and surgeries, neuro and even general surgeries, obstetrics and gynecology, nephrology, pediatrics and pediatric surgery, vascular surgery and plastic / reconstructive surgery, among others, all require high-end technology that is available in India, facilitating continual improvement in outcomes, minimizing complications, enabling faster recovery and reducing the length of hospital stay, which together have an overall impact on reducing costs. Moreover, advancements in robotic surgeries, radiation surgery or radio therapies with cyberknife stereotactic options, IMRT / IGRT, transplant support systems, advanced neuro and spinal options are all available in India. Additionally, medical specialists and other professionals are continually pushing the frontiers of medicine to extend patient propositions, ensuring that the healthcare practice in India remains at the cutting-edge of value.

India is at the confluence of holistic medical management practices on the one hand and the availability of acclaimed specialists on the other, representing the perfect value proposition for patients.

World-class medical experts and specialists

India’s hospitals with world-class facilities are complemented by skilled medical experts and specialists who work in tandem to provide the perfect healing touch to patients. The country possesses the largest pool of doctors and paramedics in South Asia, comprising as many as 1.2 million Allopathic doctors, 0.17 million dental surgeons and an army of over 2 million nurses. Many of the medical professionals in India have established their credentials around the world too. There are about 0.8 million formally-trained Ayurvedic doctors in the country. With a large number of doctors, there is a high level of competency and capability in the adoption of innovation and fresh treatment methods. India is also home to a number of other alternative medicine specialists who have expertise in techniques such as Sidha, Unani, Yoga, Acupuncture and Homeopathy, which are very popular among foreign patients. Such treatment opportunities give India the edge over competitors like Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea and the UAE.

India’s medical history spans thousands of years through Ayurvedic and alternate medicine forms. With such a strong legacy, the country’s healthcare system is at the forefront of the vibrant and dynamic medical industry.

Treatment economics and affordability

What is one of the top factors that a patient chooses before deciding on procedures and treatments? It is the cost of the treatment. India’s unmatched offering of quality treatment at an affordable cost comprises an unbeatable advantage that no patient can ignore. This unique coming together of the highest quality and cost advantage represents unparalleled benefits when it comes to major treatments such as for leukemia, where the difference in cost is 10 to 20 times. For other treatments, it could be anything from one-fifth to one-tenth of what is normally charged in Western countries and as much as 80 to 90% of treatment costs in other South Asian medical destinations. Also consider the fact that a heart bypass procedure costs roughly US$140,000 without any insurance in the US. The same procedure, however, costs one-twentieth at any one of India’s leading surgery centres. Moreover, procedures such as hip and knee replacement, face lift and gastric bypass are far more affordable in India, including the cost of travel and accommodation, compared to the US, or even other countries in Asia.

India’s medical value advantage is derived from the fact that the estimated 600,000 people who come into the country from other nations know that they can regain their health at a fraction of the cost. India’s socialist orientation makes it a nation focused on the welfare and wellbeing of the world.

Minimal waiting period

Quick attention for surgeries and interventions are assured in India. Getting an appointment for bypass surgery or a planned angioplasty in certain countries can take almost 3-6 months. And there, these treatments are costly too. India’s minimal, in several cases even zero, waiting time for any procedure, be it heart surgery, kidney care, cancer treatment, neuro-spinal procedures, knee / hip / joint replacements or other orthopedic treatments, dental, cosmetic surgeries and bariatric and weight loss surgeries and programs, etc.

India’s accredited hospitals are simple to access with a phone call or via an email. After understanding the patient’s case history, a medical specialist and his team will be made available for all consultations, etc, providing seamless services for the patient to be finally enrolled into the hospital.

Feeling the pulse of empathy

For greater understanding between patients and healthcare personnel, the warmth and hospitality of Indian hospitals is a top factor in choosing India as the most preferred healthcare destination. Among the key medical destinations of the world, India has the highest percentage of people who are fluent in English. The sense of care and empathy radiated by the industry can come to represent a big advantage in helping the patient heal faster.

India’s medical fraternity is focused on getting you – the patient – back on your feet in the quickest possible time and with the highest care. In India, truly, the patient can get well sooner!

Logistical advantages

India has several airports located all across the country, making access relatively easy. Most international airlines connect the world to India, including the country’s national carrier. It is also relatively easy to get a visa to visit India with a large number of the country’s embassies and consulates located all over the globe. India has also simplified the medical visa application process with the result that medical visas are issued in most cases in about two days. Additionally, several major Indian airports offer e-visas for patients travelling for healthcare purposes. Once in India, getting a mobile phone connection is easy too with the availability of pre-paid SIM cards with minimal documentation. Most major mobile phone operators have a desk / kiosk just after the customs. SIM recharge and top-ups can also be easily done.

So if you are a patient or if you are a family member of a patient, now is the time to act. You can either browse through the Net for details on hospitals in India or get in touch with specialized companies with strong credentials who can provide integrated services for your visit to India, including travel, visas and other logistical arrangements, hospital selection and doctor appointments, etc.

Best of luck and here’s wishing the patient to get well sooner!