Its good that we are looking at the Medical Tourism.. but if I were a planner – I would create regions within various states.. with world class airports and great hospitals for the old from the Western World to make India their home.. which would be ideal for retirees – low cost medical attention, great weather.. etc. Thats a BIG pie. A friend was giving a stat to me.. 8000 people are moving to Florida .. .EVERY DAY!!! Thats the kind of level we are talking about! Imagine the boost to the economy of a country or region because of that!
Medical tourism in India is likely to be a major sources of foreign exchange earnings in years to come, according to Vishal Bali, vice president (operations), Wockhardt, an associate hospital of Harvard Medical International.
Speaking to rediff.com in New Delhi on Monday, Bali said patients from the United States and European countries are now looking towards India for treatment, and combining the same with a one-week holiday in a hill resort near Mumbai before returning home.
“We have received over 800 patients from various parts of the world in 2005 who came to receive treatment at our super speciality hospital, which has accreditation from the Joint Commission International USA. We expect the figure to double up in the next year. These patients came to us for bypass surgery, other heart ailments, replacement of hip joints etc. They find the treatment economical and are pleased with the personal attention they receive from our consultants who visit them at least once a day during their stay in the hospital,” he said.
If the average cost of an operation costs $25,000 to 30,000 abroad, the patient pays little over $7500 dollars here including the airfare, medical treatment and one week stay in Lonavala before flying back home.
“I expect the figure of medical tourism to cross 30,0000 by the end of 2006 as more and more hospitals join us in our effort. A large number of patients visit various hill stations for Ayurvedic treatment and yoga,” Bali said.
He hopes to bring in more hill stations in the loop over the next couple of years with the help of international insurance agencies who can chip in to bear the costs of travel and other expenses of the patients, which works out to one fourth of the total costs paid by them in Europe and the US.