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Opportunity and challenges for Medical tourism in India

Prasad Begde*
Ayurveda- the science of life, the origin of most forms of natural and alternative medicine—has its mention
in one of the oldest (about 6,000 years) philosophical texts of the world, the Rig Veda. The Sutrasthana of
Charaka Samhita, a much referred ayurvedic text, says; "The three—body, mind and soul—are like a
tripod, the world stand by their combination; in them everything abides. It is the subject matter of ayurveda
for which the teachings of ayurveda have been revealed." (1.46-47)
In its broader scope, ayurveda in India has always sought to prepare mankind for the realization of the full
potential of its self through a psychosomatic integration. A comprehensive health care is what this natural
and alternative medicine prescribes for the ultimate self-realization.
"Life (ayu) is the combination (samyoga) of body, senses, mind and reincarnating soul. Ayurveda is the
most sacred science of life, beneficial to humans both in this world and the world beyond."
—Charaka Samhita, Sutrasthana, 1.42-43.
The verses of Rig Veda, the earliest source of ayurveda, refer to panchamahabhut (five basic elements of
the entire creation), and the three doshas or primary forces of prana or vata (air), agni or pitta (fire) and
soma or kapha (water and earth) as comprising the basic principles of ayurveda. One branch of Indian
philosophy—Sankhya states that there are 24 elements, all of which constitute the foundation of the gross
world: earth, water, fire, air and ether. These five elements in different combinations constitute the three
body types/doshas—vata dosha (air and ether), pitta dosha (fire) and kapha dosha (earth and water). The
panchamahabhut and the dosha theories are the guiding factors of ayurveda as a therapeutic science. The
Rig Veda also mentions organ transplants and herbal remedies called soma with properties of elixir.
This science or knowledge of healing, as mentioned in the Rig Veda, was revealed to Rishi Bharadvaja
from the great Cosmic Intelligence. The knowledge consists of three aspects known as the Tri-Sutras of
ayurveda, which are—etiology or the science of the causes of disease, symptomatology or the study and
interpretation of symptoms and medication and herbal remedies.
Approximately, during 4,000 to 3,000 BC, Sam Veda and Yajur Veda, the second and third Vedas came
into being. Chanting of mantras and performance of rituals were, respectively, dealt in these two Vedas.
And, during 3,000 to 2,000 BC Atharva the fourth Veda was authored, of which ayurveda is an upaveda
(subsection). Though it had been practiced all along, it was around this time that ayurveda in India, was
codified from the oral tradition to book form, as an independent science. It enlists eight branches/divisions
of ayurveda: Kayachikitsa (Internal Medicine), Shalakya Tantra (surgery and treatment of head and neck,
Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology), Shalya Tantra (Surgery), Agada Tantra (Toxicology), Bhuta Vidya
(Psychiatry), Kaumarabhritya (Pediatrics), Rasayana (science of rejuvenation or anti-aging), and
Vajikarana (the science of fertility). The oldest treatise available on this codified version is Atreya Samhita.
The most fascinating aspect of ayurveda is, it was using almost all methods of healing like lifestyle
regimen, yoga, aroma, meditation, gems, amulets, herbs, diet, jyotishi (astrology), color and surgery etc. in
treating patients. Though ayurveda came into being as an independent upaveda of Atharva Veda, it has
close links with other Vedas also. The Yajur Veda, which recommends rituals to pacify the
panchamahabhuts in a view to heal both the Cosmic Being and the individual soul, is related to ayurveda in
its principles and regulations of lifestyle. The upaveda called Dhanur Veda or the martial arts and ayurveda
both refer to each other in the treatment of marmas or sensitive points in the body. Ayurveda recommends
specific ayurvedic massages, exercises and bodywork for this purpose.
Around 15,00 BC ayurveda was delineated into to two distinct schools: Atreya—The School of Physicians,
and Dhanvantari—The School of Surgeons. This made ayurveda a more systematically classified medical
science, hereafter. Dhanvantari, who is considered to be a reincarnation of Lord Vishnu, was the guiding
sage of ayurveda. He made this science of health and longevity popular and widely acceptable. In fact,
these two schools of thought led to the writing of two major books on ayurveda—Charaka Samhita and
Susruta Samhita.
These two Samhitas were written in the early part of 1000 BC. The great sage- physician Charaka authored
Charaka Samhita revising and supplementing the text written by Atreya, which has remained the most
referred ayurvedic text on internal medicine till date. Susruta, following the Dhanvantari School of

*Lecturer, GSIMR (SGSITS), Indore


IIMK Part IX – Medical Tourism IIML

Thought, wrote Susruta Samhita, comprising the knowledge about prosthetic surgery to replace limbs,
cosmetic surgery, caesarian operations and even brain surgery. He is famed for his innovation of cosmetic
surgery on nose or rhinoplasty. Around 500 AD, Vagbhatt compiled the third major treatise on ayurveda,
Astanga Hridaya. It contained knowledge comprising the two schools of ayurveda.
From 500 AD to 1900 AD, sixteen major Nighantus or supplementary texts on ayurveda like Dhanvantari
Bhavaprakasha, Raja and Shaligram among others were written incorporating new drugs, expansion in
applications, discarding of old drugs and identification of substitutes. These texts mention about 1814
varieties of plants in vogue.
Evidences show that ayurveda had nurtured almost all the medical systems of the world. The Egyptians
learnt about ayurveda long before the invasion of Alexander in the 4th century BC through their sea-trade
with India. Greeks and Romans come to know about it after the famous invasion. The Unani form of
medical tradition came out of this interaction. In the early part of the first millennium ayurveda spread to
the East through Buddhism and greatly influenced the Tibetan and Chinese system of medicine and
herbology. Around 323 BC, Nagarjuna, the great monastic of Mahayana Buddhism and an authority on
ayurveda had written a review on Susruta Samhita. In 800 AD ayurveda was translated into Arabic. The
two Islamic physicians Avicenna and Razi Serapion, who helped form the European tradition of medicine,
strictly followed ayurveda. Even, Paracelsus, considered to be the father of the modern western medicine
toed the line of ayurveda, as well.
In the postmodern age, the popularity of this vibrant tradition of ayurveda lies in its, subtle yet scientific,
approach to heal a person in its totality. It aims, not only at healing the body, but also the mind and spirit, at
one go. Its unique understanding of the similarities of natural law and the working of human body, as well
as its holistic treatment methods, help it to strike a balance between the two. This gives ayurveda an edge
over other healing systems. Perhaps that's the reason behind ayurveda being the longest unbroken medical
tradition in the world, today

Charaka Samhita
Charaka Samhita is considered to be the most ancient and authoritative writing on ayurveda available
today. It also explains the logic and philosophy on which this system of medicine is based. The detailed
biography of the composer of this treatise—that is, sage Charaka—is not known to the posterity.
Interestingly, it is not an original writing of a single person rather like all Vedic knowledge it is a
continuation and renewal of that ancient knowledge system. In fact, Charaka had redacted the Agnivesa
Samhita (an edited version of Atreya Samhita). The available form of Charaka Samhita was again worked
upon by Drdhabala (living in about 400 AD) long after sage Charaka.
According to Charaka, science is dependent upon yukti—a quality of the intellect that enables it to perceive
phenomena brought into existence by a multiplicity of causes. Thus, it's not surprising that much of the
treatise of Charaka Samhita is in the form of a symposium wherein groups of ayurvedic scholars take up a
series of topics for discussion. This gives indication that the science of ayurveda is a product of constant
verification, fine-tuning and authentication by an active community of physicians. The samhita mentions
about the gradual development of the fetus within the womb in minutes that equals the modern medical
version in accuracy.
The language is Sanskrit and is written in verse form. The style is in keeping with the Vedic oral tradition
of conserving knowledge. The samhita contains 8,400 metrical verses.
Charaka followed the Atreya School of Physicians, which predominantly deals with treatments through
internal and external application of medicine. Though the samhita contains all the theoretical knowledge of
ayurveda it's focus is on healing the body, mind and soul of a patient in the minimum invasive manner
that's Kayachikitsa. Hence, he placed great emphasis on the diagnostic part of the treatment. So much so
that he classified everything from solar calendar to topography to the timing of the birth of a child. He
identified eight stages of a disease from its inception to the culmination. Charaka also laid great emphasis
on the timing and manner of the collection of medicinal plants.
Charaka sought to correct the element of fire or the digestive function in a body. It sought to alter the
chemical processes in the cells by purification methods and medicinal application. From a greater
perspective Charaka laid emphasis for health and longevity to strike a balance between one's corporeal and
spiritual being. That is the reason why Charaka went so detail into the diagnosis of a disease's origin
Susruta wrote his samhita, the most authentic text on the practice of ayurvedic surgery around the sixth
century BC Susruta is, also, renowned as the father of plastic surgery. He represents the Dhanvantari

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School of surgeons. His samhita discussed in minute details on how to perform prosthetic surgery to
replace limbs, cosmetic surgery on nose and on other parts of the body, cesarean operations, setting of
compound fractures, and even brain surgery. Susruta's original work seems to have been revised and
supplemented by Nagarjuna between the third and fourth centuries AD.
This branch of medicine is believed to have arisen in part from the exigencies of dealing with the effects of
war. Epic Ramayana, mentions remarkable feats of surgery having taken place in the past. We have
reference to the transplantation of an eyeball and a head in epics.
The style Susruta Samhita is both prose and poetry with poetry being the greater portion. This work, also, is
said to be a redaction of oral material passed down verbally from generation to generation.
This work is unique in that it discusses blood in terms of the fourth doshic principle. This work is the first
to enumerate and discuss the pitta subtypes. Susruta details about 125 surgical instruments used by him
mostly made of stones,wood and other such natural materials. The Susruta Samhita presents many
innovations in ayurvedic surgery. Use of shalaka—meaning foreign body (here, rods or a probe etc.) is
mentioned by Susruta. Some of the classifications found in the Susruta Samhita are not even traced by the
modern medical science. It described five types of pterygium, and the prognosis it made about glaucoma
has not been improved since. In fact he is the first surgeon in medical history who systematically and
elaborately dealt with anatomical structure of eye.
Susruta has discussed about 72 diseases of the eye. He has stipulated drug therapy for various types of
conjunctivitis and glaucoma along with surgical procedures of the removal of cataract, pterygium, diseases
of ear, nose and throat.
The Susruta Samhita, besides being the most authentic text on practice and theory of surgery, is also the
most commonly quoted text on health Astanga Hridaya is accepted as the third major treatise on ayurveda.
Around 500 AD, Vagbhatt compiled this samhita. It contained knowledge comprising the two schools of
ayurveda—the school of surgery and the school of physicians.
There is another similar work called the Astanga Sangraha belonging to the same period. It is slightly
bigger in size than the Astanga Hridaya, and is written in verse form whereas the later text was in prose
form. It is believed either there are two works by a person or two persons with the same name. However,
both the works came into being after the Charaka and Susruta Samhitas.
The Astanga Hridaya primarily deals with kayachikitsa besides, discussing in detail about various surgical
treatments. The kapha subtypes are first listed and described in this samhita, completing exhaustive
explanation of vata, pitta, kapha with their five subtypes.
Astanga Hridaya seems to emphasize on the physiological aspect of the body rather than the spiritual
aspects of it like its counterparts—Charaka and Susruta Samhitas. Despite that, the quality and range of its
discussions about ayurveda makes it a work to reckon withYoga and Meditation

These are among the best alternative processes used in the healing of various diseases, be it physical or
mental. Yoga is regarded as the oldest therapy that can cure many complicated diseases. It has been proved
by history that through the regular practice of yoga and meditation, any volatile and restless mind can
undergo a welcome transition with wonderful results.

Yoga is gaining more and more attention with every passing day. However, it must be mentioned that the
aim and motto of yoga can differ from person to person. Physical fitness, flexibility and spiritual growth are

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the main bases of yoga. This holistic approach goes a long way in achieving excellent results. A stress-free,
calm, balanced and fit body adds up as the reward for regular practioners of yoga.

Meditation is a part of yoga that soothes the mind in an unbelievable manner. The art of meditation should
be practiced with a well-trained guru. Its practice will not only calm the senses but also help in honing the
power of concentration. Meditation can increase your patience besides making you view life in a new
dimension altogether. The disturbed mind, the restless psyche can be well treated by this ancient therapy
without the help of any medicine. A balanced mind is what meditation propagates and helps every
practitioner achieve

Opportunity of medical tourism in India

Country’s cost-effective and efficient medical sector has made it a favored destination for healthcare. The
Indian systems of medicine like Ayurveda, Yoga, Panchakarma, Rejuvenation Therapy are among the
most ancient systems of medical treatment, of the world.
Southern states of India, especially, Kerala has developed Health Tourism as one of the products for the
promotion of tourism in Kerala. most hotels and resorts are coming up with the spas and Ayurveda
Centers as an integral part in Kerala. India has an international reputation of being a knowledge-based
economy.” The available talent base of over 500,000 doctors and seven 700,000 nursing professionals,
India can provide Medical and Health care of international standard at comparatively low cost.
Many surgical procedures are available at one-tenth the cost of those in developed countries and “there is
no waiting period for elective surgery. However, the situation should not make authorities neglect the
healthcare for Indians. There are many areas in which public healthcare needs to advance in order that
India’s workers can be a productive force for the global economy. nearly 80 per cent of spending on
healthcare is now in the private sector. India’s pharma sector has done commendable work in bringing
low-cost essential drugs to the market, including international markets.
There is a need to promote India as the new emerging Medical Value Travel destination abroad. The
private and public hospitals need to synergize their efforts to promote India as the Healthcare destination
worldwide. The Healthcare Industry will also have to standardize their processes and make its functioning
more transparent and accountable.
India’s healthcare sector has emerged as the largest in the service sector. Indians now spend over Rs. 1,
00,000 Crore a year on healthcare, and the sector contributes 6.2 percent to the GDP. Experts project that
by 2012; it will contribute 8 percent to the GDP and employ 9 million people.
But one of the many challenges it faces is to provide good quality, affordable healthcare to all. For this,
there is a need to reduce inequalities, imbalances that exist between regions, cities and villages and
different socioeconomic groups. India has done exceptionally well in the last three years in the tourism
sector, with overseas footfalls expanding at near 20% average every year.
By January this year, 3.3 million travelers had already visited India, spending close to $ 5 billion. The
domestic travel is also witnessing rapid growth. Some 368 million Indians are venturing out of their
homes, based on rising incomes, lower aviation costs, and more leisure time. The World Travel and
Tourism Council have forecast that tourism will grow at a rapid rate of 8.8% per year for the next ten
years, the highest in the world. The Industry is projected to attract a capital investment of $21 billion by
2014, up from about $10.2 billion estimated in 2004, according to a WTTC survey.
Equally significant is the impact this growth will have on employment. The travel and tourism industry
already accounts for one of every nine job opportunities created in India, currently aggregating over 20
million employees. It is estimated that this industry generates more jobs per unit investment than any
other sector.
Seeing the huge potential in the sector, the government has also started issuing M (medical) visa to the
medical patients, and MX visas to the spouse accompanying him, which are valid for year.Two lakh
medical tourists, visited India last year, and the figure will grow by 50% this year.
India is being promoted as a healthcare destination in the ongoing 'Incredible India campaign,' being run
by the tourism ministry. The campaign would promote Indian hospitals abroad as centers offering best
medical services. In addition, availing medical services in India costs about a tenth of what it is in US,
and one-sixth in UK.Not only this, the National Accreditation Board for Hospitals (NABH), a body set up
to ensure safety and hygiene norms for hospitals, has already started the process of granting accreditation
with 70 hospitals in the process of getting approval, India now offers the latest techniques such as robotic

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surgery, and gamma-knife treatment for brain tumors. The efficacy of treatment compares with that in the
West, with the death rate from coronary bypasses at 0.8% compared to 2.35% in the US. Union health
minister A Ramadoss stated the government is considering the Clinical Establishment Bill that would
mandate accreditation for hospitals down to the district and village levels.
Indian corporate hospitals excel in cardiology and cardiothoracic surgery, joint replacement, orthopedic
surgery, gastroenterology, ophthalmology, transplants and urology to name a few. The various specialties
covered are Neurology, Neurosurgery, Oncology, Ophthalmology, Rheumatology, Endocrinology, ENT,
Pediatrics, Pediatric Surgery, Pediatric Neurology, Urology, Nephrology, Dermatology, Dentistry, Plastic
Surgery, Gynecology, Pulmonology, Psychiatry, General Medicine & General Surgery
Some points describe the opportunity and attraction

Cost Effectiveness
Important cost difference subsist between U.K. and India when it comes to medical treatment tourism

Every year innumerable number of alien visitors from different parts of the world visits India for its
historical escapade.
Moreover, many a time some of them fall ill as illness knows no place. India is not only cheaper in
respect of medical treatment packages but the waiting time is almost zero.
This is due to the explosion of the private sector, which comprises of hospitals and clinics with the up-to-
the-minute technology and best practitioners.

Procedure Charges in India & US (US $): Procedure Cost (US$)United States India

Bone Marrow Transplant 2,50,000 69,000

Liver Transplant 3,00,000 69,000
Heart Surgery 30,000 8,000
Orthopedic Surgery 20,000 6,000
Cataract Surgery 2,000 1,250</

Here is a brief comparison of the cost of few of the Dental care package procedures between USA and
India Dental procedure Cost in US ($) Cost in India ($) General Dentist Top End Dentist Top End Dentist

Smile designing 8,000 1,000

Metal Free Bridge 5,500 500
Dental Implants 3,500 800
Porcelain Metal Bridge 1,800 3,000 300
Porcelain Metal Crown 600 1,000 80
Tooth impactions 500 2,000 100
Root canal Treatment 600 1,000 100
Tooth whitening 350 800 110
Tooth colored composite fillings 200 500 25
Tooth cleaning 100 300 75

These costs are a standard and might not have been the real cost to be incurred. Robert Walter Beeney
was not competent to walk due to a stiff hip when he landed in India January 24. Twenty days afterward,
he not only improved after a atypical hip substitution surgery at Apollo Hospital here but also visited the
famous Tag Mahan in Agra after that. So India is now becoming well known for its medical tourism.
The 64-year-old real estate expert from San Francisco underwent flourishing surface substitution surgery
using the anatomic surface replacement (ASR) hip system January 27, purportedly becoming the first US
national to come to India for the cure.

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A medical team of doctors, headed by orthopaedic surgery treatment specialist Vijay Bose, sustained the
procedure for Beeney.
Jayaramchander Pingle, a member of the medical team, told a news seminar that while in the usual hip
replacement surgery, the total hip was replaced, in the new system, the patient's unique head and neck of
femur were conserved and only their surface is replaced with metal on metal enunciation.
All these depict that India is now emerging as a medical treatment hub also.

Cost Comparison with other countries

Procedure Charges in India & US (US $)

Procedure Cost (US$)

United States India
Bone Marrow Transplant 2,50,000 69,000
Liver Transplant 3,00,000 69,000
Heart Surgery 30,000 8,000
Orthopedic Surgery 20,000 6,000
Cataract Surgery 2,000 1,250

Here's a brief comparison of the cost of few of the Dental treatment procedures between USA and India

Dental procedure Cost in US ($)* Cost in India ($)*

General Dentist Top End Dentist Top End Dentist
Smile designing - 8,000 1,000
Metal Free Bridge - 5,500 500
Dental Implants - 3,500 800
Porcelain Metal Bridge 1,800 3,000 300
Porcelain Metal Crown 600 1,000 80
Tooth impactions 500 2,000 100
Root canal Treatment 600 1,000 100
Tooth whitening 350 800 110
Tooth colored composite
200 500 25
Tooth cleaning 100 300 75

* These costs are an average and may not be the actual cost to be incurred.

Procedure Charges in India & UK

Approximate Waiting Cost in other Major Approximate Cost in
Nature of Treatment Periods in USA / UK (in Healthcare Destination ($) India
months) * ($) *
Open heart Surgery 9 - 11 > 18,000 4,500
Cranio-facial Surgery and skull
6-8 > 13,000 4,300
Neuro-surgery with Hypothermia 12 - 14 > 21,000 6,500
Complex spine surgery with
9 - 11 > 13,000 4,300
Simple Spine surgery 9 - 11 > 6,500 2,100

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Simple Brain Tumor

-Biopsy 6-8 > 4,300 1,000
-Surgery > 10,000 4,300
-Lesion 9 - 11 > 6,500 2,100
-DBS > 26,000 17,000
Hip Replacement 9 - 11 > 13,000 4,300

* These costs are an average and may not be the actual cost to be incurred.

For last few years India has been depicting its proficiency in medical treatment packages. The major USP
of medical tourism India is its cutthroat price of the treatment packages. The visitors can get world class
treatment services at their expediency at cost which is 30% to 70% less as weighed against the cost of
treatment in USA or Thailand.
The medical packages range from health check up packages to posh heart surgery packages.
Moreover, the uses of radioactive isotopes and scanning through Gamma camera have added matchless
features to Medical Tourism India. Some of the leading hospitals and their forte areas are discussed

Andromeda Andrology Centre -

centre for impotence, infertility, sex change, sex disarray
Apollo Family Health Plan -
managed care provider run through Apollo Hospitals.
Apollo Hospitals -
Center of superiority in Healthcare.
B M Birla Heart Research Centre -

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Heart care and surgery packages are prodived with a difference.

Belle Vue Clinic -
Calcutta's leading medical treatment package institute.
Bhatia General Hospital (MRI Centre) -
information on MRI with an emphasis on teaching files.
Brahmaputra Hospitals Limited
CSR Memorial Hospital
Calcutta Medical Research Institute -
leading hospital
Charakas Ayurveda Nursing Home -
an Ayurvedic specialty hospital & health spa in Thodupuzha, Idukki
Choithram Hospital-
It is a complete institution for care of whole society.
Cancer Patients Aid Association (CPAA) -
It mainly works to alleviate the suffering of the underprivileged and needy cancer patients by providing
total management of the ailment.
Down Town Hospital -
a well outfitted hospital in Guwahati, Assam
Dr. Agarwal's Eye Hospital -
offers ophthalmic care package, probe into and education.
Jilla Hospital -
offers contemporary amenities, also have guidance amenities.
Emmanuel Hospital Association -
working together to form a network of christian hospitals and health check up packages throughout North
Escorts Heart Research Institute -
provides cardiac care packages to patients
Hindu Mission Hospital –
It is a charitable trust hospital in Chennai.
Indo-American Cardiovascular Centre –
It provides world class cardiovascular heed.
Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, New Delhi
Institute of Cardio-
vascular ailment
Institute of Dental & Orthodontic Radiography -
computerized facial correction & orthognathic surgery package
K.G. Hospital, Coimbatore
King Edward Memorial Hospital -
information about the hospital in Mumbai
Lifeline Group of Hospitals -
provide health services & medical facilities in Calcutta
M.V.Diabetes Specialities Centre (P) Ltd. -
provide all-inclusive and entire diabetic care.
MIOT Hospital –
It is a leading centre in orthopaedics surgery package and traumatology in India.
Mansarovar Eye Hospital, Lucknow -
Well outfitted eye research centre
Neeraj Clinic -
a hospital devoted to treatment of epileptic patients
PVS Memorial Hospital
Shantiniketan Nature Cure Hospital -
offers naturopathy treatment, drugless therapy etc.
Shusrusha Nursing Home Private limited
Sir Ganga Ram Hospital -
It is a modern, multi-specialty, private hospital.
Specialty Ranbaxy limited -

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provide cost-effective, diagnostically insightful, medical services.

Sri Jayadeva Institute of Cardiology -
leading heart care package hospital in Bangalore
Surya Medical Trust Burns Centre,Pune -
hospital for burns patients and research in burns areas
Suyash Hospital -
well outfitted hospital in Indore with contemporary medical treatment packages.
The Advanced Medicare Research Institute -
This hospital is situated in Calcutta.
The Eye Research Foundation -
enthusiastic in providing eye care services
Vardaan Hospital and Medical Research Centre -
a multi-disciplinary treatment package hospital in New Delhi
Vellore Hospital
Vimhans -
health care services for people suffering from brain and backbone ailment.
Wockhardt Hospital And Heart Institute –
It provides heart care package to patients of all age groups.
Woodlands Hospital and Medical Research Institute -
leading hospital and research institute positioned at Calcutta

Medical facilities
The medical treatment tourism India has depicted a massive growth in infrastructure in the private and
voluntary sector.
The private sector, which was very unpretentious in the early stages, has now become an affluent industry
prepared with the most modern state-of-the-art technology at its disposal.
It is expected that 75-80 percent of healthcare services and investments in India are now provided by the
private sector.
In addition to that India has one of the largest pharmaceutical industries in the world.
It is self-sufficient and self- reliant in drug production and exports drugs to more than 180 countries.
Using the latest technical apparatus and the services of highly expert medical personnel, these hospitals are
in a position to provide a spectrum of general as well as specialist's services
These services are offered at awfully cutthroat prices; cheering patients not only from developing
countries but even from a number of developed ones to come to India for medical treatment packages.
Amidst varied general and specialty medical treatment packages the noteworthy packages are as beneath-

1. Bone Marrow Transplant

2. Cardiac Care and surgery package
3. Cosmetic Surgery package
4. Dialysis and Kidney Transplant package
5. Gynaecology & Obstetrics
6. Healthcare facilities
7. Joint Replacement Surgery package
8. Neuro-surgery & Trauma Surgery treatment package
9. Osteoporosis medical treatment package
10. Refractive Surgery package
11. Urology
12. Vascular Surgery package
13. Dental care medical package

As far as the cost of medical treatment packages are concerned, India offer the most competitive
treatment package price to the world with its up- to- the- minute medical devices. The prices of different
pathological tests range from Rs.50 to 3000. And that depends upon the nature of the test.
Now, the specialty hospitals are using Nuclear medicines for treatment. Here radioactive isotopes are
injected or administered orally and that is again scanned by sophisticated Gamma camera. So for high
quality treatment at lowest possible cost one must select India as his medical treatment destination.

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- Hospitals in New Delhi -

Indraprastha Medical Corporation
Indraprastha Medical Corporation in Delhi is among the many feathers in India's cap. It is India's first
corporate hospital and the third largest corporate hospital outside the USA. It is recognized as a centre of
excellence by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India and by the Royal College
of Radiologists, UK for training for the first and final fellowship examinations.

A.I.I.M.S. -
AIIMS' contribution in the fields of medical education, research and specialized treatment is widely
acknowledged. The main object of the institute is to demonstrate high standard of medical education,
training of personnel and conduct experiments and research in various disciplines of medical sciences.

The Escorts Hospital -

The Escorts Hospital and Research Centre Limited (EHRCL) at Faridabad is a 150-bed facility providing
a whole gamut of specialized medical services. The hospital is reputed for tertiary care services such as
cardiology, neurology, neurosurgery, plastic surgery and urology

Medical as tourism in India

It can be generally defined as provision of 'cost effective' personal health care in association with the
tourism industry for patients needing surgical healthcare and other forms of dedicated treatment.
This process is being facilitated by the corporate sector concerned in health care as well as the tourism
industry - both personal and public.
Medical or Health treatment package tourism has become a recurrent form of vacationing, and covers a
broad range of medical services. It mingles free time, amusing and recreation together with wellness and
healthcare packages
Medical or Health treatment package tourism has become a recurrent form of vacationing, and covers a
broad range of medical services. It mingles free time, amusing and recreation together with wellness and
healthcare packages
Many people from the urbanized world come to India for the upgrading promised by yoga and Ayurvedic
massage, but few consider it a target for hip substitute or brain surgical procedure. However, a nice blend
of top-class medical expertise at attractive prices is helping a rising number of Indian corporate hospitals
attract foreign patients, including from developed nations such as the UK and the US.
As more and more patients from Europe, the US and other well heeled nations with high Medicare
package costs look for effectual options; India is rutted against Thailand, Singapore and some other Asian
countries, which have good hospitals, salubrious climate and visitor destinations.
While Thailand and Singapore with their advanced medical amenities and built-in medical tourism options
have been drawing foreign patients of the order of a couple of lakhs per annum, the quickly growing
Indian corporate hospital sector has been able to get a little thousands for cure.
But, things are going to change radically in favor of India, particularly in view of the high eminence
expertise of medical professionals, backed by the fast improving tools and nursing amenities, and above
all, the cost-effectiveness of the pack

Ayurveda tour
Day 01:Arrive Chennai
On arrival at the airport Indian Horizons representative would welcome you and transfer to the hotel.
Overnight at Chennai
Day 02: In Chennai
Morning after breakfast full day excursion to Mahabalipuram and Kanchipuram. Overnight at Chennai
Day 03: Chennai-Trichy
Morning after breakfast drive to Trichy. On arrival check-into the hotel. After fresh-up proceed for
sightseeing tour of Trichy. Overnight at Trichy
Day 04: Trichy-Tanjore-Trichy
Morning after breakfast full day excursion to Tanjore. Overnight at Trichy

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Day 05: Tanjore-Madurai

Morning after breakfast drive to Madurai. After check-in proceed for sightseeing tour of the city. The
highlight of the tour is the visit to Meenakshi Temple. Overnight at Madurai
Day 06: Madurai-Periyar
Morning after breakfast drive to Periyar. On arrival check in the hotel. Afternoon boat rides on Lake
Periyar for the game viewing. Overnight at Periyar
Day 07: Periyar-Kumarakum
Morning after breakfast drive to Kumarakom. On arrival check-into the backwater resort. Evening boat
ride on the backwaters. Overnight at Kumarakom
Day 08: In Kumarakum
Day free to relax. Overnight at Kumarakom
Day 09: In Kumarakum
Day free to relax. Overnight at Kumarakom
Day 10: Kumarakom-Cochin
Morning after breakfast drive to Cochin. On arrival check-into the hotel. Overnight at Cochin
Day 11: In Cochin
Morning after breakfast proceed for a full day city tour exploring the city. Overnight at Cochin
Day 12: Cochin-Marari Beach
After breakfast drive to Marari Beach. Overnight at Marari Beach
Day 13: In Marari Beach
Explore ayurvedic message and treatment. Overnight at Marari Beach
Day 14: In Marari Beach
Explore ayurvedic message and treatment. Overnight at Marari Beach
Day 15: Departure Cochin
Morning after breakfast transfer to the Cochin airport for your flight back home

Key reasons for growing medical tourism in India

India has been the most attractive destination for the visitors around the glob.
But the recent trend in the tourism sector shows a propelling growth in the travel & tourism industry.
This is not only due to the heritage attraction of the country but the medical tourism India which has
depicted a steady southward movement, of late.
Now the question arises, why should people rush India for treatment?
The simple equation is that the medical treatment package price in India is 35% to 40% lesser than the
treatment cost in USA or Thailand.
Not just because of the discount but the superiority concern also.
India has got the specialist in around the world and in India as well and also has got the world eminent
doctors & hospitals where all the services are provided to the patients. So when you can get the best
health care in India then why not opt for India as the destination for medical treatment tourism. A number
of specialty hospitals in India are –

• All India Institute of Medical Science

• Apollo Hospitals
• B.M.Birla
• C.M.C Vellore
• Tata Memorial Hospital
• Indraprastha Medical Corporation
• Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases
• Escorts Heart Institute and Research Centre
• Kalra Hospitals
• Dr. U Mohan Rau Memorial Hospital
• Institute of Child Health and Hospital for Children

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The tale does not cease here. In India the use of radioactive isotopes in small quantities and scanning of
the same through the sophisticated Gamma camera has uplifted the standing of India in the medical care
community of the world.
The medical services range from dental care to cardiology surgery packages. Competitive pricing is
another unique selling proposition (USP) for India.

>> All India Institute of Medical Science (A.I.I.M.S) in Delhi

>> Apollo Hospitals
>> B.M.Birla Heart Research Centre
>> Christian Medical College Vellore
>> Tata Memorial Hospital
>> Indraprastha Medical Corporation
>> Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases
>> Escorts Heart Institute and Research Centre
>> Kalra Hospitals
>> Dr. U Mohan Rau Memorial Hospital
>> Institute of Child Health and Hospital for Children

Main Medical treatment in India

Heart care in India

Cardiac concern has become a specialty in India with names such as the Escorts Heart Institute and
Research Centre, All India Institute of Medical Science and Apollo Hospital becoming names to consider

They mingle the latest innovations in medical electronics with unparalleled proficiency in leading
cardiologists and cardio-tho-racic surgeons.
These centers have the characteristic of providing Ample cardiac care spanning from basic services in
precautionary cardiology to the most complicated healing technology. The technology is modern and world
class and the volumes handled match international benchmarks. They also specialize in offering surgery to

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high risk patients with the preamble of innovative techniques of plainly insidious and robotic heart surgery
package India
Principal heart centers like The Escorts Heart Institute have Cardiac Care Units with urbane equipment
and investigative facilities like Echocardiography with colored Doppler, Nuclear Scanning and Coronary

The Jayadeva Institute of Cardiology in Banglore, the Cardiology Hospital in Kanpur, the Heart Hospital
in Calicut and the Sree Sudihindra Medical Mission Hospital in Coaching are some hospitals in India
dedicated utterly too cardiac treatment package India. Heart care package India includes the following

- Stress/Resting Thallium
- Cardiac CT-Calcium Scoring
- Coronary MR Angiography
- Multi-Gated Radio nuclear Ventriculography
- Dual Head Gamma Camera Interventional Cardiology
- Coronary, Carotid, Renal, Peripheral Angiography
- Coronary, Carotid, Renal, Peripheral Angioplasty
- Stenting
- Balloon Mitral, Aortice & Pulmonary Valvuloplasty
- Rotational and Directonal Artherectomy

For check up packages the following tests are conducted

• Doppler Studies
• TEE Echo
• Stress Echo
• Holter

Foot surgery
Advances in technology in all fields, especially medical field is happening at a very fast rate in India. As a
result various surgeries and medical procedures which were earlier not possible in India are taking place
with surprising regularity in the country. Foot surgery in India can be taken as an example of that trend
which has just been mentioned above.

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This surprising and astonishing change has been made possible by exponential development and
improvement in infrastructure in India. Development has become multi faceted which was very much
essential because if just health care had improved it would not have served any purpose with all other
amenities lagging behind.
It is because of these all round developments that India has become a global hub of medical tourism and
due to which foot surgery in India and many other such complicated surgeries have become a daily affair
for most medical practitioners While we are discussing on topic of foot surgery in India it is imperative for
us to discuss a bit further about foot surgeries themselves so that one can gain a comprehensive or holistic
knowledge about these surgeries. Foot surgeries are usually conducted to correct some physical deformities
which in most cases are hereditary in nature and are usually present from time of birth of patient
Hammertoes and toe shortening are two such diseases to correct which foot surgery in India takes place. In
case of former shape of toes is deformed, while in case of latter one toe is longer than another leading to
formation of painful corns on feet.
Bunion is another common foot deformity which is more often found in women. Bunion is an example of
a hereditary foot deformity.
Foot surgery in India is conducted which can cure all of above mentioned deformities as well as many
other which have not been mentioned here.
But one might wonder why would people from developed countries, which themselves have high quality
medical practitioners as well as world class infrastructure, would opt out of their own will to get done a
foot surgery in India.
Main reason behind most people making such a decision is cost effectiveness of treatment in India. Foot or
any other surgery, if conducted in India, cost a lot less than it would have in patient’s own country. And it
is to gain advantage of this cost effectiveness that patients opt to come to India and return after getting
treated with complete peace and satisfaction of mind and heart.

Eye care
Eye is one of the most important organs in the body. It is the only source of visual experience. Any kind of
carelessness can be extremely harmful to this vital organ.
Therefore when ever you find problems in sighting then you should rush to an eye-specialist without any
further delay. But there is one thing that may stop you is the cost of eye treatment.
Sad, yet very true. Any ophthalmologist in Europe or America will charge a whopping amount as their
bill. Add to that the cost of treatment or surgeries (if required). On the other side of the globe, Eye care
India can do the same at remarkably low costs.
You’ll be shocked to know about the huge difference in the eye treatment expenditures in foreign countries
and India is huge to say the least. Eye care India can cost you eight to ten times less than opting for an eye
treatment in Europe or U.S.A.

What are the eye care treatments available here?

Now that you know that Eye care India is cheaper than the rest of the world, it is only natural to ask what
are the kinds of eye care treatments that you can avail of once you’re here. To start off the list is huge and
can be summed up as the following-
ƒ Lasik Treatment and Lasik Eye Surgery
ƒ Laser Refractive Surgery
ƒ Refractive Eye Correction
ƒ Natural Eye Care Treatment and the list just goes on,

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In short, it wouldn’t be wrong to suggest that if you’ve got the disease these Indian ophthalmologists have
the cure.
Not only do you get all these eye cures, Eye care India is know to have the support of some of the best
equipments used by leading ophthalmologists in the world.
But irrespective of the quality of the equipments or technology that is used for Eye care in India, until and
unless they are used by experts they can be of no use.
Indian doctors and ophthalmologist have been ruling the medical scene for quite some time now and they
could do so for a reason.
Yes, these doctors have it all- the degrees, the knowledge and the experience that makes Eye care India
better than the best.
So what are you waiting for? Get the best possible treatment for your eye while you get to explore the
cultures and sceneries of the country of India

Skin treatment
Do you want to remain beautiful? DO you wish to stay young forever? Botox may not be enough. The
best way to take care of this is follow some basic steps of skin care. If that fails it is time to get some skin
Why Skin treatment India?
India has had a very rich history. One of the biggest exponents of this is probably the ayurvedic treatment.
Ayurvedic has been a storehouse of natural skin treatments. With the help of this treatment procedure, you
can get hold of all skin ailments.
However, as time moved on and new and better ways of treating skin problems, the popularity of these
treatments slowly decreased.
However, this does not mean that the popularity of Skin treatment India has decreased in any way
In fact, Skin treatment India has become even more popular than ever before. The reasons are many and
may be summed up as the following-
The efficiency of the dermatologists- The medical scenario of the country is headed by a pack of highly
renowned dermatologists. These skin specialists have the knowledge and the experience to care the biggest
of the skin problems.
What is encouraging is that more and more promising dermatologists are coming up by the day. The result
is that these doctors have taken over the cream of international dermatologist. So getting your skin
treatment in a country of thriving dermatologists is not a bad idea.
The low cost of treatment- Low cost of treatment is the key phrase that has made Skin treatment India
what it is today.

Most skin specialists of the world charge ludicrous amounts as their fees. To be more specific, the cost of
skin treatment in Europe and America can have you in splits.
However, it does not stop here only. Add to that the cost of medication makes it even worse. However
Skin treatment in India, can save you a lot of money as neither is the cost of treatment high, nor do the
doctors extract loads of money form their patients.
However, what has really done the trick for Skin treatment India is the intervention of companies in
ensuring an easy and safe trip for international patients. These companies will arrange all your medical
appointments and accommodations once you hire their services. However, you need to pick the right
company before you plan to take a Skin treatment to India.
Cataract is quite a common eye disease which usually affects the aging population.

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In the condition of a cataract, with age, the lens of the eye loses its ability to see and a coating develops
over it which makes it difficult for the person with the disorder to see properly.
The disease advances with time and worsens leading to reduction in eyesight. Initially, partial sight is
available but with passing time surgery is the only recourse.
The lens of the eye is crystalline and a metabolic change of the fiber of the lens over time leads to the
development of cataract and loss of transparency of the lens.
In a cataract surgery the natural lens is surgically removed and an artificial intraocular lens is inserted
If we wish to talk about cataract eye surgery in India, we must remember that the medical Council of India
and the Ministry of Health, Government of India has started a train which moves around through the rural
heartland of India operating on patients in villages and rural areas who have been suffering from cataract.
In India, especially in the rural areas, modern equipment to conduct cataract eye surgery in India is a
This train has made that dream possible. Many old people who have been affected by cataract have got
new lease of life after being operated upon by leading ophthalmologists and famous doctors from all over
Many clubs and other voluntary organizations like the Rotary Club and the Lions Club who operate in the
realm of healthcare organize camps in different parts of the country to conduct surgery on cataract
patients at subsidized rates and thus give them back the vision they have lost.
Cataract eye surgery in India is conducted in these camps and sometimes imported, high quality equipment
for surgery is used but sometimes indigenous equipment is used.
Imported equipment makes the surgery more efficient and quicker. In these camps, sometimes imported
equipment is used.
Otherwise, imported equipment to conduct cataract eye surgery in India is only available in private
hospitals and health clinics. These are sometimes beyond the reach of the common Indian. Cataract eye
surgery in India is conducted in government hospitals but it is seen that they use indigenous machines.
Surgery using modern equipment and well qualified doctors is becoming available because of certain non
governmental organizations, the initiative of certain organizations operating in the realm of healthcare and
sometimes the government to provide quality cataract eye surgery in India at subsidized rates to the poor
and the needy

It does not take the place of a diet. If someone is obese, gains and loses weight frequently, or has an eating
disorder, he or she is not a candidate for liposuction

Many different tools and techniques are used for liposuction ranging from ultrasound-assisted to tumescent
procedures. Initially the method involved simply inserting a cannula (vacuum device) into an area and
sucking out some of the fat. This “dry method” required general anesthesia.
Now, several other methods are more widely used, including tumescent liposuction, which involves
injecting a sterile saline solution into the area about to be worked on.
Ultrasound-assisted or Ultrasonic liposuction uses high-pulse sound waves to liquefy excess fat, which is
then removed by the same vacuum device used in other liposuction procedures. Ultrasonic liposuction is
thought to be more effective for loosening the fat cells attached to muscles or organs and is also useful in
breaking down fat cells so they are easier to suck up into the cannula

Most patients are pleased with the outcome of their liposuction surgery. However, like any other medical
procedure, there are risks involved. That's why it is important for you to understand the limitations and
possible complications of liposuction surgery. Decide for yourself whether you are willing to take the risks
involved in liposuction:
Infections: Infections may happen after any surgery and may occur after liposuction. It is important to
keep the wound(s) clean but even if you do, infections may sometimes occur from the surgery.
Nerve Compression and Changes in Sensation: You may experience "paresthesias" which is an altered
sensation at the site of the liposuction. This may either be in the form of an increased sensitivity (pain)
in the area, or the loss of any feeling (numbness) in the area. .

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Swelling: Swelling or may occur after liposuction. In some cases, swelling may persist for weeks or
months after liposuction.
Skin Necrosis (skin death): The skin above the liposuction site may become necrotic or "die." When
this happens, skin may change color and be sloughed (fall) off.
Burns: During ultrasound assisted liposuction the ultrasound probe may become very hot and can
cause burns.
Fluid Imbalance: Fat tissue, which contains a lot of liquid, is removed during liposuction. Also,
physicians may inject large amounts of fluids during liposuction. This may result in a fluid imbalance.
Some packages
With today’s sedentary and unhealthy lifestyle, man is getting prone to number of ailments and diseases.
Diseases like diabetes, hypertension, oral and lung cancer and osteoporosis can directly be attributed to the
modern way of living. With being in the pink, turning out to be the latest fad, people are getting more and
more conscious about their health and lifestyle. This is where the hospitals and health care centers come
into the picture. Apollo Hospitals recognizes the importance and need for preventive health care and for the
purpose have launched various health Cheq programs and Health Checkup Packages. Medical India
Tourism offers to give you online information on Health Checkup Packages in Apollo hospital in India,
Health Checkup packages of the Apollo hospitals in India consists of a range of checks to determine and
prevent the occurrence or presence of signals indicating ill health and paving way for the wellness.
There are various preventive healthcare and health checkup program’s introduced by the Apollo hospitals
that you easily avail at nominal prices.
Health Checkup Packages in Apollo Hospitals in India are differently designed for different groups keeping
in mind their requirements.
Apollo Executive Health Cheq is especially designed and recommended for men and women above thirty-
five years, who are living a stressful life leading to mental and physical illness.
For men and women below thirty-five years of age, Apollo Master Health Cheq package is the right
solution for a healthy life ahead. Then there are other health checkup packages like the Apollo Heart Cheq
for persons with cardiac symptoms, Whole Body Cheq, Diabetic Cheq etc. Apollo Hospital also provides
special health checkup packages for children and women.
The health checkup packages in Apollo Hospitals are reasonably charged and therefore attract lot of
domestic and foreign tourists thereby giving a boost to the medical tourism industry in India.

Infertility brings an enormous toll on both the affected individuals and on society. Couples in their most
active and productive years are distracted by the physical, financial and emotional hardships of this disease.
For these couples, infertility is more than a disease, it is a devastating life crisis which can greatly impact
the couple's general health, marriage, family relationships, job performance and social interactions. Added
to the emotional and physical toll brought by infertility is the financial burden carried by some couples
seeking treatment for their disease.
We aim to ease this burden by assisting in provision of comprehensive information and alternative options
for making your infertility affordable. represents the hospitals and a specialty Fertility centre which has been in the field of
infertility for the past ten years. It is one of the leading fertility units in India.
The specialty Fertility centre is located in the city of Mumbai, the financial capital of India. Besides that,
Mumbai boasts of some the leading Medical Schools as well as leading Hospitals, offering hi-tech and hi-
caliber medicare to patients, both from within and outside the country
At the represented Hospitals and Fertility Centre , our aim is to offer the most
advanced and globally competitive ART programs and services Both these centres are equipped with the
state-of-the-art 'Embryology Laboratory' and staffed with the team of highly trained professionals.
The aim is to offer the latest services, with success rates equivalent to the West, at very affordable costs,
but without compromising on quality. This has been possible by making use of the latest equipment, best
quality disposable and culture media imported from the West, high-class competent service and very
economical professional fees. This objective has enabled our unit to be at the forefront of offering fertility
services in India. During the past ten years, we have treated numerous patients from India, Middle East,
Africa, UK & USA, enabling them to have babies and bringing joy to their lives.

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The represented Fertility Centre been one of the pioneers in the techniques of ICSI ,
having done more than 900 cycles with success rates reaching nearly 30%. We were the first unit in India
to initiate the technique of Assisted Laser Hatching , to improve pregnancy rates in elderly patients and in
previously failed cycles. The unit has started performing Blastocyst Cultures and recently has also
introduced the new methods of Preimplantation Genetics which are available in few centres, over the globe.

The Centre also specialise in the area of Egg Donation and Embryo Donation , which is a boon to elderly
and menopausal women. is pleased to represent the first clinic in India to offer a Money Back/ Shared Risk
payment option (which is very popular in the US)

Orthopedic Surgery
A number of orthopedic procedures are available such as hip and knee replacement, the Illizarov technique,
limb lengthening, Birmingham Hip resurfacing technique (which scores over conventional hip
replacements and is still unavailable even in the US) etc.
Many hospitals specialize in latest techniques and treatments such as minimal invasive surgery, cartilage
and bone transplantation, spine surgery and limb sparing surgery. All kinds of musculo- skeletal problems
ranging from Arthiritis to sports injuries, to complex broken bones, bone tumors and childhood conditions
like scoliosis are treated most effectively.
A wide range of spinal surgeries including fixation, stabilization and fusion are regularly undertaken.

Bone Marrow Transplant

Major hospitals in India have oncology units comprising surgical oncology, medical and radiation therapy
as well as the crucial Bone Marrow Transplantation (BMT). The BMT unit with high pressure hipa filters
has helped achieve a very high success rate in the various types of transplantation.
Cord Blood Transplant and Mismatched Allogeneic Stem Cell Transplant have been performed
successfully, a feat that is remarkable and significant, considering the fact that the treatment costs one-tenth
of what it does in the west. Special surgeons are available for individual organs. Plastic surgeons of repute
provide treatment for head and neck cancer, breast cancer and other malignancies. Facilities offered include
tele-therapy which includes simulation work stations to ensure high precision and safety during treatment at
the 18 MV linear accelerator or telecobalt machines, brachy therapy and 3-D planning systems. In
orthopaedics, the Ilizarov technique is practised for the treatment of limb deformities, limb shortening and

Joint Replacement Surgery

Shoulder/hip replacement and bilateral knee replacement surgery using the most advanced keyhole or
endosopic surgery and anthroscopy is done at several hospitals in India including the Apollo Hospital, Sir
Ganga Ram Hospital and Holy Family Hospital in Delhi, Bombay Hospital, Leelavati and Hinduja Hospital
in Mumbai and the Madras Institute of Orthoepaedics and Trauma Sciences. Some hospitals like Apollo in
Delhi have Operation Theatres with Laminar Air Flow System which compares with the best in the USA
and the UK. A knee joint replacement costs about 3000 pounds in India wheras in the UK, a similar surgery
using the same implants and medical consumables costs around 10,000 pounds.

It is perhaps the rule of nature that as we go on inventing ways of tackling the most notorious of ailments,
newer forms of diseases take the centre stage. Today, with life attaining a lightening fast pace, the
neurological problems have become an order (or should I say ‘disorder’!) of the day.
The number of people who need neuro surgery is ever increasing. In this context, the number of people
opting for a neuro surgery in India too is ever on the rise.
Let’s look into the reasons why so many people from near and far off lands are coming all the way to this
country for a neuro surgery in India.
Though the life expectancy, rate of mortality, etc. do not give a picture which the country can boast about,
the health industry in India is really seeing an unprecedented boom since the last few years
There are several forms of physical malfunctioning that fall under the neuro sciences. For instance there are
the diseases like essential tremors, Parkinson's’, epilepsy, Trigeminal neuralgia, and so on. Neuro surgery

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in India is performed by application of the Gamma-knife technique for countering these problems where
you do not need a scalpel.
There is high quality of microscopic surgery for all possible types of brain surgery such as pituitary tumors,
acoustic tumors, skull tumors, intra ventricular tumors, glioma, and so on. There are also several medical
institutions that offer neuro surgery in India and specialize in several vascular surgeries such as those for
aneurysms of all sizes, arterial bypass, carotid endarterectomy, and other related neuro complications.
The same also applies for various forms of spinal surgeries. Another reason for such an immense popularity
of the neuro surgery in India is the great level of pediatric neurosurgery
One may contemplate as to why choose India and travel so long a distance for such a complicated treatment
as neuro surgery. The answer is rather simple and obvious. The sudden boom in the health industry of the
country has resulted in a huge number of medical practitioners who are highly competent.
And the cost involved in eth total treatment too is highly competitive. As a result you need less than 50% of
what you would need to spend somewhere else. Hence, neuro surgery in India has turned out to be so

Challenges of medical tourism in India

The trend is still in its early stages. Most of the foreigners treated in India come from other developing
countries in Asia, Africa or the Middle East, where top-quality hospitals and health professionals are often
hard to find. Patients from the United States and Europe still are relatively rare -- not only because of the
distance they must travel but also, hospital executives acknowledge, because India continues to suffer from
an image of poverty and poor hygiene that discourages many patients.
Taken as a whole, India's health care system is hardly a model, with barely four doctors for every 10,000
people, compared with 27 in the United States, according to the World Bank. Health care accounts for just
5.1 percent of India's gross domestic product, against 14 percent in the United States.

The countries where medical tourism is being actively promoted include Greece, South Africa, Jordan,
India, Malaysia, Philippines and Singapore. India is a recent entrant into medical tourism. According to a
study by McKinsey and the Confederation of Indian Industry, medical tourism in India could become a $1
billion business by 2012. The report predicts that: "By 2012, if medical tourism were to reach 25 per cent
of revenues of private up-market players, up to Rs 10,000 crore will be added to the revenues of these
players". The Indian government predicts that India's $17-billion-a-year health-care industry could grow 13
per cent in each of the next six years, boosted by medical tourism, which industry watchers say is growing
at 30 per cent annually. In India, the Apollo group alone has so far treated 95,000 international patients,
many of whom are of Indian origin

Apollo has been a forerunner in medical tourism in India and attracts patients from Southeast Asia, Africa,
and the Middle East. The 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.
Another corporate group running a chain of hospitals, Escorts, claims it has doubled its number of overseas
patients - from 675 in 2000 to nearly 1,200 this year. Recently, the Ruby Hospital in Kolkata signed a
contract with the British insurance company, BUPA. The management hopes to get British patients from
the queue in the National Health Services soon. Some estimates say that foreigners account for 10 to 12 per

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cent of all patients in top Mumbai hospitals despite roadblocks like poor aviation connectivity, poor road
infrastructure and absence of uniform quality standards.
Analysts say that as many as 150,000 medical tourists came to India last year. However, the current market
for medical tourism in India is mainly limited to patients from the Middle East and South Asian economies.
Some claim that the industry would flourish even without Western medical tourists. Afro-Asian people
spend as much as $20 billion a year on health care outside their countries - Nigerians alone spend an
estimated $1 billion a year. Most of this money would be spent in Europe and America, but it is hoped that
this would now be increasingly directed to developing countries with advanced facilities.
The key "selling points" of the medical tourism industry are its "cost effectiveness" and its combination
with the attractions of tourism. The latter also uses the ploy of selling the "exotica" of the countries
involved as well as the packaging of health care with traditional therapies and treatment methods.
Price advantage is, of course, a major selling point. The slogan, thus is, "First World treatment' at Third
World prices". The cost differential across the board is huge: only a tenth and sometimes even a sixteenth
of the cost in the West. Open-heart surgery could cost up to $70,000 in Britain and up to $150,000 in the
US; in India's best hospitals it could cost between $3,000 and $10,000.
Knee surgery (on both knees) costs 350,000 rupees ($7,700) in India; in Britain this costs £10,000
($16,950), more than twice as much.
Dental, eye and cosmetic surgeries in Western countries cost three to four times as much as in India.
The price advantage is however offset today for patients from the developed countries by concerns
regarding standards, insurance coverage and other infrastructure. This is where the tourism and medical
industries are trying to pool resources, and also putting pressure on the government. We shall turn to their
implications later.
In India the strong tradition of traditional systems of health care in Kerala, for example, is utilised. Kerala
Ayurveda centres have been established at multiple locations in various metro cities, thus highlighting the
advantages of Ayurveda in health management. The health tourism focus has seen Kerala participate in
various trade shows and expos wherein the advantages of this traditional form of medicine are showcased.
A generic problem with medical tourism is that it reinforces the medicalised view of health care. By
promoting the notion that medical services can be bought off the shelf from the lowest priced provider
anywhere in the globe, it also takes away the pressure from the government to provide comprehensive
health care to all its citizens. It is a deepening of the whole notion of health care that is being pushed today
which emphasises on technology and private enterprise.
The important question here is for whom is 'cost effective' services to be provided. Clearly the services are
"cost effective" for those who can pay and in addition come from countries where medical care costs are
exorbitant - because of the failure of the government to provide affordable medical care. It thus attracts
only a small fraction that can pay for medical care and leaves out large sections that are denied medical
care but cannot afford to pay. The demand for cost effective specialized care is coming from the developed
countries where there has been a decline in public spending and rise in life expectancy and non-
communicable diseases that requires specialist services.
India is considered the leading country promoting medical tourism-and 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. The reports estimate that medical tourism to India is growing by 30 per cent a year.
India's top-rated education system is not only churning out computer programmers and engineers, but an
estimated 20,000 to 30,000 doctors and nurses each year. ...


News papers
The Hindu
Times of India

Conference on Tourism in India – Challenges Ahead, 15-17 May 2008, IIMK 355

IIMK Part IX – Medical Tourism IIML

Financial express
Economic times

Books and journal

Journal a day
Medical tourism in India-Raj Pruthi
Ministry of tourism
Marketing management-philip kotler

Conference on Tourism in India – Challenges Ahead, 15-17 May 2008, IIMK 356