After the silicon rush India is now considered as the golden spot for treating patients mostly from the developed countries and Far East for ailments and procedures of relatively high cost and complexity. India is also aggressively promoting medical tourism in the current years -and slowly now it is moving into a new area of “medical outsourcing,” where subcontractors provide services to the overburdened medical care systems in western countries.
India’s National Health Policy declares that treatment of foreign patients is legally an “export” and deemed “eligible for all fiscal incentives extended to export earnings.” Government and private sector studies in India estimate that medical tourism could bring between $1 billion and $2 billion US into the country by 2012.
Going by the Statistics and various studies it can be easily said that India would be the leader in medical tourism within the next decade if only it could improve the infrastructure and tour attractions. The question or rather the doubt that is often asked by critics is how can India provide top line medical care to outsiders while more than 40% of its people languished below poverty line and less than 20% of its people can actually afford medical services. Ethically and morally this problem has to be solved if India has to move into the category of developed country and also as a place which provides medical care to both its own people and patients from other country
The aim of this project is to put a finger on the highly profitable service of medical care combined with tourism in which India is currently considered as a market leader. It has been a known fact for past many decades that Indian doctors are highly skillful in their given field since all around the globe mot hospitals have doctors of Indian origin. Therefore it became almost natural that this trend extended to India.
This project also aims to show why India is attracting medical tourists, is it really a secure destination and how India can promote and develop this particular activity in the coming years so as face competition given by other Asian and African options.
Research and Methodology
The objective of this chapter is to present the research methodology of the present study. The chapter deals with various aspects of research methodology on Medical tourism in India and a comparative analysis are made.
For the present study as more emphasis was laid down on discovery of ideas and insights is can be called descriptive research as on attempt have been made to get insight into the Medical tourism in India.
Further, the study is also and descriptive nature as a descriptive study is typically concerned with determines. Here, attempts have been made to find out the correlation of people towards Medical tourism in India.
The key objective of the project is to study the emerging opportunities and future prospects in the Indian medical tourism market. The project discusses various industry trends and growth drivers that are fuelling growth in the market and tries to study their impact on the future scenario.
Basic Research Problem of the Study
Competition and marketing issues are seen as the major problems facing organisations involved in medical tourism. Other key issues are:
• Insufficient demand
• Insurance and liability issues
• Lack of quality standards and international standards
• Lack of professionalism within the industry
Assumption of the Study
According to medical tourism facilitators the leading medical tourism destinations are India, Thailand, USA, Hungary and Malaysia. The USA, UK and Russian Federation are seen as the leading source of patients both now and in the future. Countries rated as providing the best overall service to patients are Thailand, India, and Singapore.
Respondents predicted that India, Thailand, and Singapore will also be the leading medical tourism destinations in five years time.
Methods of Data Collection
The data has collected in two ways.
• Primary Data: Primary data are those, which are collected for the first time, and they are original in character. Primary data gives higher accuracy and facts, which is very helpful for any research and its findings. I have collected primary data by personal interview.
• Secondary data: The secondary data are those, which are already collected by someone for some purpose and are available for the present study. Secondary data was collected from the magazines, websites and other such sources.
Medical tourism: A Global perspective
Medical tourism happens when patients go to a different country for either urgent or elective medical procedures. This phenomenon is fast becoming a worldwide, multibillion-dollar industry.
The reasons patients travel for treatment vary. Many medical tourists from the United States are seeking treatment at a quarter or sometimes even a 10th of the cost at home. From Canada, it is often people who are frustrated by long waiting times. From Great Britain, the patient can’t wait for treatment by the National Health Service but also can’t afford to see a physician in private practice. For others, becoming a medical tourist is a chance to combine a tropical vacation with elective or plastic surgery.
And moreover patients are coming from poorer countries such as Bangladesh where treatment may not be available and going for surgery in European or western developed countries is expensive.
The interesting thing of Medical tourism is that it is a concept which is actually thousands of years old. In ancient Greece, pilgrims and patients came from all over the Mediterranean to the sanctuary of the healing god, Aesculapius, at Epidaurus. In Roman Britain, patients took a dip in the waters at a shrine at Bath, a practice that continued for 2,000 years as it was believed that the waters had a healing property. From the 18th century wealthy Europeans travelled to spas from Germany to the Nile. In the 21st century, relatively low-cost jet travel has taken the industry beyond the wealthy and desperate.
Countries that actively promote medical tourism include Cuba, Costa Rica, Hungary, India, Israel, Jordan, Lithuania, Malaysia and Thailand. Belgium, Poland and Singapore are now entering the field. South Africa specializes in medical safaris-visit the country for a safari, with a stopover for plastic surgery, a nose job and a chance to see lions and elephants.
While, so far, India has attracted patients from Europe, the Middle East and Canada, Thailand has been the goal for Americans.
India initially attracted people who had left that country for the West; Thailand treated western expatriates across Southeast Asia. Many of them worked for western companies and had the advantage of flexible, worldwide medical insurance plans geared specifically at the expatriate and overseas corporate markets.
With the growth of medical-related travel and aggressive marketing, Bangkok became a centre for medical tourism. Bangkok’s International Medical Centre offers services in 26 languages, recognizes cultural and religious dietary restrictions and has a special wing for Japanese patients
The medical tour companies that serve Thailand often put emphasis on the vacation aspects, offering post-recovery resort stays.
South Africa also draws many cosmetic surgery patients, especially from Europe, and many South African clinics offer packages that include personal assistants, visits with trained therapists, trips to top beauty salons, post-operative care in luxury hotels and safaris or other vacation incentives. Because the South African rand has such a long-standing low rate on the foreign-exchange market, medical tourism packages there tend to be perpetual bargains as well.
Argentina ranks high for plastic surgery, and Hungary draws large numbers of patients from Western Europe and the U.S. for high-quality cosmetic and dental procedures that cost half of what they would in Germany and America.
Lastly, Dubai–a destination already known as a luxury vacation paradise–is scheduled to open the Dubai Healthcare City by 2010. Situated on the Red Sea, this clinic will be the largest international medical center between Europe and Southeast Asia. Slated to include a new branch of the Harvard Medical School, it also may be the most prestigious foreign clinic on the horizon.
Other countries interested in medical tourism tended to start offering care to specific markets but have expanded their services as the demand grows around the world. Cuba, for example, first aimed its services at well-off patients from Central and South America and now attracts patients from Canada, Germany and Italy. Malaysia attracts patients from surrounding Southeast Asian countries; Jordan serves patients from the Middle East. Israel caters to both Jewish patients and people from some nearby countries. One Israeli hospital advertises worldwide services, specializing in both male and female infertility, in-vitro fertilization and high-risk pregnancies. South Africa offers package medical holiday deals with stays at either luxury hotels or safaris.
Leading countries in the field of medical tourism
Indian tourism: An overview
Tourism will expand greatly in future mainly due to the revolution that is taking place on both the demand and supply side. The changing population structure, improvement in living standard, more disposable income, fewer working hours and long leisure time, better educated people, ageing population and more curious youth in the developed as well as developing
countries, all will fuel the tourism industry growth.
The arrival of a large number of customers, better educated and more sophisticated, will compel the tourist industry to launch new products and brands and re-invents traditional markets. The established traditional destinations founded on sun-sea-sand products will have to re-engineer their products. They must diversify and improve the criteria for destinations and qualities of their traditional offers. Alongside beach tourism, the tourism sector will register a steady development of new products based on natural rural business, leisure and art and culture. Thus the study of new markets and emerging markets and necessity of diversified products are the basis of our strategy, which can enhance and sustain, existing and capture new markets.
It is India’s vastness that challenges the imagination: the sub-continent, 3200km (2000 miles) from the mountainous vastness of the Himalayas in the north to the tropical lushness of Kerala in the south, is home to one sixth of the world’s population, a diverse culture and an intoxicatingly rich history. Desert in Rajasthan, tropical forests in the north eastern states, arid mountains in the delta region of Maharashtra and Karnataka and vast fertile planes in northern states of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana etc are just some of the geographical diversity that can be observed. We have a wealth of archeological sites and historical monuments. Manpower costs in the Indian hotel industry are one of the lowest in the world. This provides better margins for any industry which relies on man power.
One of the fascinations of India is the juxtaposition of old and new; centuries of history – from the pre-historic Indus civilization to the British Raj – rub shoulders with the computer age; and Bangalore’s ‘Silicon Valley’ is as much a part of the world’s largest democracy as the remotest village is.