Medical Tourism

Sridevi’s mother came to America for medical treatment; so did almost all of the Bollywood’s ailing. It was almost a fad some years back to profess that you have to fly to America for your treatment where in fact, chances of an Indian treating you in America are not too different from medical treatment in India. Recent developments have seen amazingly hi-tech hospitals being built and professionally run in almost all major Indian cities. But the trend is reversing, wealthy foreign patients are making their way toward India — for a $8000 bypass operation that would otherwise cost them a whopping $25,000 [via Washington Monthly].

A study by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), and McKinsey consultants estimated "medical tourism" could be worth 100bn rupees (£1.21bn) by 2012. Last year some 150,000 foreigners visited India for treatment, with the number rising by 15% a year, says Zakariah Ahmed, an analyst who helped compile the report.

….A number of private hospitals also offer packages designed to attract wealthy foreign patients, with airport-to-hospital bed car service, in-room internet access and private chefs. Another trend is to combine surgery in India with a yoga holiday or trip to the Taj Mahal [Source: The Guardian]

Now will Indian Tourism have a picture of Apollo Hospitals on their colorful brochures next to the large-moustached Rajasthani and the Taj Mahal? Heck, as Kevin suggests, America can solve its Medicare woes in one swift move by merely flying patients down to India (and also revive the airline industry while they are at it).

Comment via Twitter

  • Pleomorphous

    Yay! to medicare outsourcing.

  • m

    now thats one outsourcing that might actually put the americans at an advantage………it might actually force the healthcare fat cats to shape up.

  • Patrix

    Morphie – Keep an eye out for more kinds of outsourcing.

    M – Definitely it is a win-win situation…and no need of tort reform either.

  • Ash

    You should check out the Wockhardt chain of hospitals back home in India – fantastic isnt the word !

    And I agree with M, it should hopefully cause some positive developments in domestic health care in the US

  • Queer

    I am not sure how far I would really go to Apollo though! Medicare outsourcing, would definitely awaken the healthcare companies here, but I don’t think it would be as cost effective as doing it in India. They would have to come up with some really efficient planning, which is gonna be one helluva task!

  • Patrix

    Ash – Wockhardt, Leelavati and other are the latest in corporate healthcare. Although they may be taking the cost through the roof but at least we can expect safe medicine.

    Queer – It does save them a whole lot but of course, we don’t do a battery of tests AFTER diagnosis. Certain ways of medicine as practiced in India might seem strange to them. Check out the comments in the Washington Monthly to judge the reaction of Americans…

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  • Pleomorphous

    Will do… err… is my job at risk?

  • Patrix

    Morphie – You are in India, right? so why do you fear outsourcing?

  • Pleomorphous

    Indian companies having to move up the value-chain + other more feasible outsourcing destinations = paranoia.

  • Manish Joshi

    Over 1 million of UK citizens are waiting for hospital treatment, yet in the rest of Europe waiting lists are non-existent. Why must we wait and wait so long? The maximum waiting time for an NHS operation is set to be six months by 2005. We consider this still to be an unacceptably long time to wait when in pain, worried and when life has been so disrupted by an illness.”
    —-The Patients Association, UK

    The above quote signifies the importance of wellbeing of the citizens understanding which International Business Events propose to create a collaborative exhibition on trans-national healthcare in which the services of the Healthcare Industry of India can be experienced by the UK citizens. The exhibition will travel to UK with Indian Healthcare Industry & concerned authorities coming on board with a common interest of promoting universal healthcare. The interactive nature of the exhibit will encourage visitors to relate what they see to their own life, increase mutual understanding between our two nations, and spark a larger interest in and acceptance of diverse pre & post heath care options available in India.

    INDIA MEDICAL TOURISM EXPO is being organised from 2nd – 4th June 2005 at Alexandra Palace, Wood Green, London in association with Government of India, India Tourism – UK, High Commission of India – UK, Delhi Tourism & Federation of Indian Exports Organisations (FIEO). A number of glocal medical & allied association will be supporting the event.

    The India Medical Tourism Expo ’05, London, would be instrumental in promoting Global Wellbeing by promoting the services of Indian Medicalcare & allied sector through this international affair.

    The concurrent Conference addressed by Medical Professionals of both the country, officials from Tourism & Health Ministry, India, Multi Specialty Hospitals etc., will aim at providing an ideal platform to understand the needs & required synergized efforts for trans-national healthcare.

    It will be an Exhibition & Conference targeted on bringing to a common platform the Indian Medical Industry & concerned authorities in UK

    This project is very important and relevant at this moment in time. There a clear need for greater mutual understanding between our two countries. Moreover, healthcare service problems are figuring more prominently into the lives of all UK citizens. The knowledge that this exhibit will convey will not only bring the citizens of the two countries closer together, but may also foster an trans-national healthcare awareness among the British citizens that may help to serve the needed better. The event will call the participation of all major players of Indian Medical Care Industry.

    For any further details please feel free to contact the undersigned.

    Thanks & Regards,

    Manish Joshi

    International Business Events
    C1/D, First Floor
    Green Park Extension,
    New Delhi – 110016, India.
    Tel : +91-11-26536075 – 77, 26536084
    Fax: +91-11-26536086
    E-mail :

  • Deepak

    Its a nice peice of information and i do understand that this is going to be the next big thing after IT, but all I worry is, how can it help me as an entrepeneur, what can I do to tap this market??


  • Mike Giller

    see the news section on this website for more info. on medical tourism. It’s pretty good. They refer the same to international patients.


  • Mike again

    sorry it – for medical tourism.

  • dr ajay gambhir

    it is very informative. I would be interested in attending there any registration.