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!
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!