Making India the Hottest Medical Vacation Destination
Indian Health Minister, Anbumani Ramadoss recently stated that close to 150,000 foreigners visit the country every year for medical procedures and treatment. Ambika Soni, the Tourism Minister, has announced the ministry’s intention of publicizing its first rate doctors, its world-class hospitals, and its medical packages. The Indian Health Ministry and the Tourism Ministry are, therefore, jointly creating a worldwide campaign to advertise Indian medical packages. They intend to attract uninsured or financially vulnerable patients from the United States and Western Europe, not only to its medical vacation health care centers but also to the best hospitals for hip replacement in India. With its marketing campaign, the two ministries aim to promote India as the ideal medical vacation destination, thereby hoping to boost present earnings, from $333 million up to $2 billion by 2012.
Advertising Its Unique Medical Packages
The campaign brochures for these medical packages promote India’s holistic approach to treatments and are studded with photographs of yoga postures, Ayurvedic practices, and other indigenous treatments. These medical vacation packages attract medical tourists with their offers of sightseeing tours alongside treatment.
Finding the Best Hospitals for Hip Replacement in India
The main attraction of the medical vacation phenomenon is the affordable rate structure at Indian hospitals. Whereas a patient checking in at one of the best hospitals for hip replacement in India would have to pay about $14,000 for the procedure, airfare, and the vacation, he or she would have to pay about $35,000 for just the procedure back home.
A Medical Vacation Hotspot? At What Cost?
Nonetheless, it is apparent that in order to achieve its goals India needs to improve its infrastructure. In spite of excellent facilities and well trained staff in targeted hospitals and health care centers, the general standards of health service are often questionable. Besides, India’s current murky image will have to be given a makeover for a medical tourist to be able to believe he or she will actually benefit from a medical vacation here. Some senior Indian doctors worry that India’s “medical vacation” goal would be achieved at the expense of an already overburdened, under funded, and mismanaged health care system that does not always serve the local population satisfactorily.