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Monday 26 May 2008

MEDICAL TOURISM FOREX EARNINGS TO GROW

ASSO/PR/527 May 26, 2008
MEDICAL TOURISM FOREX EARNINGS TO GROW RS. 8000 CR. FROM 2012 : ASSOCHAM
Easy access of Visa facilities often permitted by India to overseas patients coupled with best emerging medical infrastructure facilities in its large and tertiary towns, prospects of India Medical Tourism becoming a lead foreign exchange earners will grow to an extent of Rs. 8000 crore by 2012.
The above findings are arrived at The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) on Prospects of Medical Tourism for Higher Forex Earning' under the supervision of its Health Committee chaired by Chairman, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, Dr. B K Rao in which other lead doctors from Medicity Moolchand, AIIMS, Max etc. are involved.
Releasing the ASSOCHAM estimates, its President, Mr. Venugopal N. Dhoot pointed out that currently, the earnings accrued through medical tourism annually are estimated at Rs.3500 crore.
"The primary reasons as to why medical tourism would flourish in India include much more lower medical costs for various ailments such as bone narrow transparent, bye-pass surgery, knee surgery and liver transplant as compared to western countries".
As a result of higher and very expensive medical costs in the western countries, patients from economies of scale including Africa, Gulf and various Asian countries have started exploring medical treatment in hospitals located in various well-to do places in India because its medical infrastructure has geared up to provide them non-subsidized medical treatment at much more lower costs which are many times considered reasonable, adds Mr. Dhoot.
The other reasons as to why India would emerge as a lead hub for excellent medical treatment is because of its strength of highly qualified medical professionals and even equally higher qualities of availability of nurses. India has about 7 lakh qualified doctors and numbers of qualified nursing graduates and diploma holders are equally good and of high professional caliber who are content and satisfied with reasonable professional feels.
A comparison of treatment costs is given in the tabulated form, comparing India's cost of medical treatment with countries such as USA, UK and Thailand :
Comparison of Treatment cost ($)
Medical Treatment
USA
UK
THAILAND
INDIA
Bone marrow transplant
More than 2,00,000
Up to2,00,000
Up to 62,500
Around20,000
Bye – pass Surgery
15,000- 20,000
Around 20,000
14, 250
4,000-6,000
Knee surgery
16000-17000
15,000
7,000
1,000
Liver transplant
300,000
2,50,000
750,000
4,000
This said Mr. Dhoot is the major advantage which works in favour of India as a result of which movement of patients from various developing and developed countries would shift towards India as its hospital infrastructure is not only confined to large metros but equally getting better in tertiary towns in which the cost of living is still lower with quality of supreme nature.
Still other reasons for medical tourism getting wide spread in India is because of its strength of traditional treatment in homeopathy, naturapathy, ayurvedic, unani etc. which are becoming popular because of their non-side effects, said Mr. Dhoot.
The Indian healthcare policy is getting adequately recongised from the policy makers as in India health spends in proportion to its GDP is about 1% which the government is gradually trying to increase. The increase in health GDP ratio would amount to proliferation of new health facilities as well as their centres for patients and such centres of excellence will finally be able to accommodate overseas patients as with increasing health facilities, its health infrastructure would still move for better and find acceptance in great deal of patients. Therefore, the prospects of medical tourism in India would be of super facilities and holds an excellent future, concluded Mr. Dhoot.
Source: Koteshwar Prasad Dobhal
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