Authors: INTRODUCTION Tourism and medical industry go hand in

 

Authors:

A.S. Princy¹, Research scholar, School of Management
studies,

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Hindustan University, Padur, Chennai & Assistant Professor,

Chettinad
Academy of Research and Education, Chennai.

Email: [email protected], Mob: 7299972060

 

Dr. M. Rajeswari², Associate Professor,
School of Management studies,

Hindustan University, Padur, Chennai. Email: [email protected]

 

 

ABSTRACT: 

Medical tourism in India is growing
international business sector. Global medical tourism industry estimated at
around $40 – 60million. India pegged around $ 3 million and expected to $ 9
million Opportunity by year 2020. To promote medical tourism and attain major
share Indian government and regulatory authorities have taken several steps.
The objective of this paper is to analyse and bring out the strengths of health
tourism and weakness which hinders the growth of health tourism industry in
India. Most competent doctors and medical staffs, infrastructure facilities,
less treatment charges and eases to travel for recreational facilities makes India.

Key words: Health tourism, Health costs, Destinations,
Medical Tourism

1.      INTRODUCTION

Tourism and medical industry go hand in hand for health tourism. It is
also known as Medical tourism, Wellness tourism or Health tourism. In olden
days patients from developing country will travel to developed countries to get
good medical care, now this phenomenon is changed. Patients from developed
country are travelling to developing country due to various reasons like:

1.     
Costly
medical treatment

2.     
Lack of
medical insurance coverage

3.     
Long
time waiting to get treatment.

4.     
Treatments
which are not legal in their home country like blood transfusion, fertility
treatment.

Over 5, 00,000 foreign patients are treated in India each year. India
ranks in fifth position on Medical tourism Index globally and 2nd
position in Asia as per the International Healthcare and Research Centre
statistics.

Currently more than 50 countries are in line of medical tourism
destinations. Developed country like U.S.A experience terrible patient admin
experience and high healthcare cost but patient care quality is good. It is
estimated that about 1.2 million to 1.3 million U.S population travel for
medical reasons in each year. Mostly they visit Mexico for dental care and rest
will be taking trips for cosmetic procedures. In Indonesia healthcare sector is
very weak, so they travel to Australia and Southeast Asia. As the cost of labor
of Asian countries are less number of international tourist is travelling to
save a cost from 40-60%. Top medical tourist destinations globally are Thailand,
Costa Rica, India, Israel, Malaysia, Mexico, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan and
Turkey.

 

Table 1 Medical Tourism Corridors

Criteria

Mexico

India

Costa Rica

Taiwan

Thailand

Singapore

Malaysia

JCI hospitals

9

25

2

16

45

21

13

% of savings Vs US

?40%

?80%

?50%

NA

?50%

?30-35%

?60%

Key strengths

Dental/
Cosmetic

Tertiary
care

Dental/
Cosmetic

Health
checks

Tertiary&
cosmetic

Tertiary
care

Cosmetic
& secondary care

Major Source

US
and Canada

GCC,
Africa & S.Asia

USA,
Canada & EU

China

Japan,
USA & GCC

SE
Asia & USA

Indonesia
& GCC

 

2.      OBJECTIVES
OF THE STUDY:

1.     
To
analyse the growth and development of medical tourism.

2.     
To
assess the strengths of medical tourism in Chennai.

3.     
To
identify the weakness of medical tourism industry.

 

3.      MEDICAL
TOURISM IN INDIAN

India is famous for its heritage, culture and age old traditional
medicines. Wellness tourists are attracted by therauptics like Ayurveda, Yoga,
Unani, naturopathy and homeopathy. Around 3,598 hospitals and 25793
dispensaries are providing health services across the country.  Indian healthcare sector will reach USD 372
billion by 2022, as per IBEF report December 2017. In 2016 India medical
devices market is valued at USD 4 billion and is expected to cross USD 11
billion by 2022 as reported by IBEF. Cost of surgery is one tenth of that of
USA and Western countries. Private sector is contributing 75-80% medical
tourism services as it has best state of art technology and manpower. Major
corporate hospitals involved in medical tourism revolution are:

1) Escorts Heart Institute and Research Center

2) Apollo Hospitals

3) Wockhardt Hospitals

4) Aravind Eye Hospitals

5) Fortis Healthcare

6) Leelawati Hospital

7) Dr. Vivek Saggar’s Dental Care and cure Center

8) N M Excellence

9) Manipal Hospital

10) Tata Memorial Cancer Hospital

11) Christian Medical College

12) B.M Birla Heart Research Center

13) P.D Hinduja National Hospital and Medical Research Center                           

Major public sector player is All India Institute for Medical Sciences
(AIIMS) has a special team for International patient care which provides all
aspects of medical care from patient’s arrival to departure. Locality wise
Medical tourist spots in India are Maharashtra, Delhi, Tamilnadu, Karnataka and
Kerala.

Table 2
Foreign Visits state wise

Rank

State/UT

Numbers

Percentage share

1

Tamil Nadu

4721978

19.1

2

Maharashtra

4670048

18.9

3

Uttar Pradesh

3156812

12.8

4

Delhi

2520083

10.2

5

West Bengal

1528700

6.2

6

Rajasthan

1513729

6.1

7

Kerala

1038419

4.2

8

Bihar

1010531

4.1

9

Goa

680683

2.8

10

Punjab

659736

2.7

 

Others

3207012

13.0

 

 

24707732

100.0

Source: Ministry of Tourism website

 

Figure 1

Source: Ministry of Tourism

4.      INDIA’S
HEALTH CAPITAL- CHENNAI

Tamil Nadu attracts more tourists on the basis of recreation and
medical care. Chennai is known as India’s health capital. Major Service
providers are Apollo group, Billroth hospitals, SIMS hospitals, Ramachandra
hospitals, Frontier Lifeline Hospitals, Global Health City and The Madras
Medical Missions. International patients receive treatment mainly for
Cardio-thoracic surgery, Plastic surgery, Ophthalmology, Gynecology &
Obstetrics, Orthopedics, Surgical Gastroenterology, Laparoscopic surgery,
Health check, Kidney transplant surgery, Oncology and Dental.

 

5.      STRENGTHS
OF MEDICAL TOURISM IN CHENNAI

The main factors attracting International patients to Chennai are as
follows:

Cost Advantage

The foremost factor which attracts patients is cost of surgeries or
consultancy. Many of the Chennai hospitals are multispecialty with state of art
infrastructure, qualified doctors and good patient care with a lower price tag
of 40-60% less than their home country. Even if it is not covered by insurance
patient can manage the expenses.

No Waiting Time

There is no delay in getting treatment due to unavailability of
doctors, insurances or waiting lists, etc.

Qualified Hospital Staff

Chennai has well trained and expertise doctors, nurses and support
staffs.

Infrastructure and Technology

India is well known for its high end technology, equipment and
infrastructure for diagnosis and treatment.

Government support

Government of India introduced special visa called as ‘medical visas’
for medical tourists from 158 countries can apply online safely and tax
incentives for hospitals.

 

Ancient Medicine

Ancient ways of treatment like Ayurveda, Sidha, Yoga, Naturopathy, etc
are more popular among western countries to heal and naturally cure the ailment
is also available in Chennai.

Heritage tourist spots

Chennai is famous for major tourist destinations like Mahabalipuram,
beach resorts, etc.

Communication

English is widely spoken in India, so it is easy to communicate to medical
staffs. Translators can be arranged for non English native speaking patients.

Information Technology

Internet will be providing suffient information related to packages,
stay, hospital groups, facilities and recreation facilities available in
Chennai. This helps the medical tourist to select suitable packages which is
affordable for them.

6.     
WEAKNESS OF MEDICAL TOURISM IN CHENNAI

Insurance Laws

Insurance Laws may vary related to the
type of treatment.

Post operative
treatment

It is expensive to consult a doctor
abroad for follow up checks.

Variable cost
structure

There is no standardized cost structure
across India.

Lack
International Accreditation

There are so many hospitals and nursing
homes which lacks International Accreditation

Lack of
connectivity and logistics

As India is developing country some work
needs to be done in few areas on logistics, roadways, air pollution,
electricity, etc

Lack of Grievance
redressal system

Medico legal issues are addressed in a
clear way.

7.     
CONCLUSIONS

Research shows that Medical tourism is
booming sector which gives more International business to the country. Federation of Indian Chambers of
Commerce and Industry (FICCI) reported that over
500,000 foreign patients seek treatment in India every year. It removes poverty and generates more
employment opportunities. Government should take more initiatives to develop
infrastructure and facilities to attract more and more international patients.

REFERENCES

•        
https://www.traveltrendstoday.in/news/india-tourism/item/5439-medical-tourism-emerging-as-a-next-growth-driver

•        
[email protected]

•        
Reports of Ministry of Tourism
Government of India

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https://www.cns.org/publications/congress-quarterly/congress-quarterly-spring-2017/women_in_Neurosurgery

•        
G. Saravana Kumar and R. Krishna Raj,
(2015) Status, growth and impact of medical tourism in India, Intl. J. Pharm.
Sci. Res., (284-291)

•        
http://www.tourism.gov.in

•        
http://www.medicaltourismassociation.com/en/index.html

•        
https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/healthcare/biotech/india-among-fastest-growing-medical-tourism-destinations-official/articleshow/61056202.cms