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First World treatment at Third World Prices. The Indian government has said that the value of Medical Toursim in India is likely to reach USD 9 billion by 2020. Medical tourism in India started when Western health care workers started providing short-term medical work in many countries around the world. Medical students constituted a significant proportion of those interested in medical tourism in India through various elective programs, and these electives were often the gateway to future careers in international health. India has introduced a medical visa for foreigners who come to India for medical treatment and can stay for an extended period. The medical visa for foreigners visiting India would be admissible to all foreigners seeking medicare in recognised specialty hospitals or treatment centres. New medical visa rules will give a boost to medical tourism and health tourism in India. Now patients will have the facility to bring attendants, spouse and blood relations.
India is a key player in the medical tourism and health tourism industry with developments technology for improved healthcare services. The quality and affordability of healthcare services are enhanced by the tourism concept. Medical tourism has people from across the globe travelling to other countries to get medical, dental and surgical care. India is the destination for cardiology, orthopaedics, transplants, and in wellness, preventive, and alternative medicine. Chennai is one of the most popular destinations for medical treatment. The city is the choice for bone marrow transplants, cardiac bypasses, eye surgeries, alternative medicine, and even hip replacements. Mumbai is has several super speciality hospitals, research and diagnostic centres for dentistry, orthopaedic and weight loss surgeries.
India's go-to vacation destination, Goa is becoming a medical hub which offers complete rejuvenation on its world class beaches. New Delhi is home to private hospitals with special facilities for tourists, including packages for general surgery, heart care, and neurosurgery.
India offers world class medical facilities to medical tourists in world class hospitals and the doctors are comparable with any of the doctors in western countries. India also offers the most competitive prices. Indian hospitals have invested heavily in order to attract medical tourists to India. They have set up hospitals in major cities and tourism destinations with the intention of attracting non-residents from the world over.
'Medical tourism and health tourism in India' is the buzzword now. The government as well as private players are keenly assessing the potential and means to tap the same. The state-of-the-art hospitals and well-qualified doctors, have attracted the patient population from neighbouring countries, the Middle East and the West who are looking for quality affordable, and cost-effective treatment.
The Mohali-based Fortis Hospital has already entered into a mutual referrals arrangement with Partners Healthcare System, that has hospitals like Brigham Women's Hospital and Massachusetts Hospital, Boston, under its umbrella.
The Apollo Hospitals Group is also holding discussions with the National Health Scheme, UK, to bring patients/medical tourists from the UK to India, highlighting their affordable cost-effective treatment.
The Indian Healthcare Federation, an association of the healthcare delivery sector that includes the Apollo Hospitals Group, Mumbai's Hinduja Hospital, Max Healthcare, the Fortis Heart Institute among others, has also decided to project India as a healthcare destination with its affordable cost-effective treatment.
Among private players, Apollo has been a forerunner in medical tourism in India. It has been a choicest destination for patients/medical tourists from Southeast Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. The Apollo group has tied up with hospitals in Mauritius, Tanzania, Bangladesh and Yemen besides running a hospital in Sri Lanka, and managing a hospital in Dubai.
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