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India Has Immense Potential For Medical Tourism

Monday, June 17, 2013
By Dr Sanjeev Jain

Dr Sanjeev Jain is Joint Replacement Surgeon, Dr L H Hiranandani Hospital Mumbai

“India is the only mainstream option that offers a widespread solution for any and all medical needs”
—Dr Sanjeev Jain


Healthcare is an expensive affair across the world. The most important factors to quality medical care include accessibility, affordability, and convenience. Rising healthcare costs and the uncertainty of health care structures in different countries has prompted individuals to travel beyond borders for more affordable medical care.

As Indian healthcare sector develops, a new term, has been coined ‘Medical Tourism’, which is the process of people from all corners of the world visiting India to seek medical and relaxation treatments.  India has immense potential for medical tourism as medical costs are skyrocketing in the developed world.
India has thousands of skilled physicians and Surgeon practitioners, apart from having very well equipped excellent hospitals. Over the last two decades, the economic boom in India has led to the building of medical facilities and infrastructure at par with the west.

Medical tourists choose India as their favourite destination because of the key opportunities in Indian healthcare sector in the form of efficient infrastructures and technology. The health insurance market and National medical systems here are well developed, which is convenient for visitors from the West and the Middle East. They also find the hospital expenses very affordable. In a nutshell, one is not only cured but also cared for and it is this theory of ‘cure with care’ that forms the motto of medical tourism industry in India.

That about covers everything I think!  Well almost.  It should be said that joint replacement and cardiology is a specialty in India, and other complex procedures too, like ones in the areas of neurology, oncology, knee transplant, cosmetic surgery and dental care.

We can say, India is home to world class joint replacement and orthopedic surgeons. In India, Chennai itself attracts about 40% of the country’s medical tourists and more than six lakh tourists visit the state every year, according to a study by Confederation of Indian Industries (CII). The inflow of medical tourists to India has increased by 23%. Today, India medical tourism produces $2.3 billion annually.

In western world due to high life expectancy number of elder age group suffering from degenerative osteoarthritis has increased. Many of these patients have no insurance as well. They all are looking forward to get reasonable cost effective joint replacement surgery done in India,

Out of several medical requirements, gender specific knee is increasingly becoming popular amongst women and it’s a boon for young women. With people now being affected by arthritis as early as 30 years, especially in urban cities it has now become a serious cause of concern and at this time Gender Knee is a boon for these women.

In the West, there is a growing awareness of bone disease. Australia, for instance, has put Osteoarthritis and Osteoporosis on its list of national priority disease. There are several benefits of the gender keen implant like anatomically, a women’s knee has a distinctive shape in comparison to a man’s knee. The gender knee provides three-in-one advantage.

It has three distinct and scientifically documented differences. This addresses both the shape and the size features of a women’s knee, thereby resulting in a better fitting, higher flexibility and more natural movement. A woman’s natural knee may be able to perform the daily activities with the same ease as before the surgery like.

Although it has long been known that there were marked differences in the skeleton of men and women, it has only been realized recently that there are significant differences in the knee joint between men and women. All orthopedic implant companies offer several sizes of knee implants. Only the Gender specific knee has a different shape from a Non gender implant.

“Some small countries may be viable as alternatives for minor surgical procedures, India is the only mainstream option that offers a widespread solution for any and all medical needs specially joint replacement surgery, and does this with the highest levels of service, facilities, and professional skills. A joint replacement, a complex transplant or bypass procedure can be achieved for a tiny fraction of the cost for the same procedure in the U.S. According to the study by ASSOCHAM the year 2011 saw 850,000 medical tourists in India and projected that by 2015 this number would rise to 3,200,000.” In same proportion number of joint replacement surgeries will also increase.

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