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Medical Tourism

Medical Tourism, Healthcare, tourism, Health insurance, Surgery, joint replacement


Rising cost in developed countries for medical care made inroads for medical tourism. It is very difficult to say when exactly the medical tourism started, however medical tourism as a concept has been the haul of recent years. Medical tourism is an act of people who travel to other country to seek healthcare, may it be medical, dental, or surgical treatments at a cheaper price. So, how the journey for a health treatment becomes the joy of tourism? Well, it’s the cost factor which is six to ten times less in the countries where these health tourist decides to go for a treatment and this not only gives them good health care but also good pleasure hunting and wonderful hospitality.

Medical tourists are the people from the industrialized and developed nations such as USA, Europe, Australia and The Middle East. These nations either have free medical treatment to their citizens or the citizens are covered under medical insurance. In case of free medical treatment in Great Britain and in many of the Middle East countries waiting period for the desired treatment are so long that many of the patients do not live till the time their turn comes. In another cases such USA, where people are covered under medical insurance, the cost of treatment is so high that to cover that Insurance, companies charges quite a high premium from the insurance seeker. That is a limiting factor. According to the statistics 40 millions American do not have health insurance.

Health insurance in USA is the responsibility of the employer for whom people are working. The high premium of medical insurance pulls back employer to go for temporary employment and not the permanent one, where they can save the cost. This is again a bad news for the people. Apart from this the private healthcare is very costly and it becomes highly difficult for a person to pay for open heart surgery, joint replacement surgery, transplant surgery, and many other procedures.

Whereas these treatment one can have in other countries where medically expertise treatments are available at lower costs. Therefore, medical tourism has opened the door for the people to save life along with the savings. There are many other factors also which has added advantage to the medical tourism, the first and foremost is the low air fares and emerging trend of the economy of the developing nations to cater to the need of the developed nations. The reverse brain drain is another such factor, which is the act of people who went to developed nation to make their career are getting back to their root. After coming back they are gaining importance in terms of respect and incentives. At the same time it helps their nations to grow economically.

Currently medical tourists are travelling in large numbers to India, the East Indies, South America and South East Asia. These countries offer numerous options for touring, sight-seeing, shopping, and exploring. Although these countries are currently the most popular choices for medical tourism, the industry is growing so rapidly that more and more countries are offering greater choice healthcare tourism. The expectation is that the options for where medical tourists can choose to travel will continue to increase at a rapid rate, as healthcare facilities improve around the world.

India is one of the most attractive destinations in the world for medical tourists. The heart surgery and hip resurfacing are areas of advanced medicine in which India is reckoned a global leader. In fact no other country has been in the news for medical tourism than India in 2005-06. The government and private hospital groups both seem to be committed to a goal of making the subcontinent a world leader in the industry. Indian medical industry's main aim is low-cost treatment. According to the estimates, treatment costs in India start at around a tenth of the price in America or in Britain. Moreover Indian Hospitals also provides more personalized care than available in west.

Medical Tourism in India is the best options available to people across the globe. Millions come to India every year to get treated and then enjoy their recuperative holidays across India. People from different walks of life cut across America, United Kingdom, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Europe, Maldives, Germany and numerous other countries come to India to have their treatments done with peace of mind. India provides world class medical facilities with hospitals and specialized multi specialty healthcare. Indian medical fraternity are expertise in the areas of Cosmetic Surgery, Dental care, Heart Surgeries, Coronary Bypass, Heart Check up, Valve replacements, Knee Replacements, Eye surgeries, Indian traditional treatments like Ayurvedic Therapies and much more, practically covering every aspect of medicine combining modern treatments with traditional experience.

India gears to be a “global health destination" by 2012. However, there are some areas of improvements which can improve the tourist traffics in the coming year. Ten years ago, medical tourism was hardly large enough to be noticed. This year, approximately half a million foreign patients are expected to travel to India for medical care, whereas in 2002, the number was only 150,000.

In monetary terms, experts estimate that medical tourism could bring India as much as $2.2 billion per year by 2012. Argentina, Costa Rica, Cuba, Jamaica, South Africa, Jordan, Malaysia, Hungary, Latvia and Estonia all have broken into this lucrative market as well, or are trying to do so, and more countries are joining the list every year.

Truly one American heart patient in one of the interview had stated, “It is better to be treated as rich with your savings in the developing nation with love and care than to wait and die being poor and neglected in your own country. People should travel to seek good health. There are more humans and hospitable people elsewhere also”. If this is what the face of medical tourism is today, surely the future is even brighter. If travel can make health good, and doesn’t make hole in your pocket, than nothing is better than medical tourism.

Published: 2007-02-06
Author: Rama Kant Mishra

About the author or the publisher
I have done Masters in Fisheries Management and have written and published articles on Fisheries, Agriculture, Medical, Pharmaceutical, political, self Improvement and Career. Professionally working for an IT company as a Technical Writer. I love to write and publish and have worked as freelance writer, ghost writer and as special correspondent for print media. You may find me contributing on and You may reach me at mishraramakant@gmail.

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