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Sambhar Mafia - Cooked To Kill!

Monday, February 27, 2006

Medical Tourism is here

Much before the term "Medical Tourism" caught on, the same concept existed, but no particular buzzword was attached to it. Chennai used to receive some amount of Srilankan medical tourists who were looking for treatment for heart ailments. The presence of Apollo, Madras Medical Mission and a few more top-notch hospitals was the prime driver. More recently, we started hearing about Pakistani patients who started visiting hospitals in Bangalore (Narayana Hrudayalaya is one name that comes to mind).

Even though medical tourism existed, most of the inflow was from the SAARC region. India was not seen as a medical destination by the West. This seems to be changing now.

Neil is one such tourist who was in Chennai for a hip-related ailment. Neil has documented some of his experiences about his stay in India and also about the way he was treated in Apollo Hospital. It seems he zeroed in on India after watching the TV show called “60 Minutes”.

He is not fully convinced about the English skills of some of the people whom he interacted with and he explains it here:

One reason for the language barrier is that this hospital isn't really geared for Westerners. I was under the impression that this particular hospital targeted Westerners but that isn't the case (at least not to a large extent). According to one of the nurses, she sees around 50 Americans a year. I asked her about Europeans and she said that there are very few. The foreigners that do come, however, appear to be the Saudis. Neil is the only Westerner that I have seen in the hospital during our stay.

The IT Boom (or the lack of it) seems to have caught his eye as well:

Chennai isn't as well known for its IT companies as Bangalore or Hyderabad but they are here. The interesting thing about wandering the streets is seeing a new, westernized 5-story glass building in a neighborhood of decaying buildings. Invariably, that building has a name like 'I-soft' on the front.

It looks like most of the medical tourists are coming to India after doing their own research. There is no central body, which serves as a repository of information (travel, sight-seeing, accommodation, pre and post-surgery care etc) related to medical tourism. It’s still unclear whether the Centre wants to create a Medical tourism campaign and integrate it with the overall Incredible India theme.

Quite recently, I happened to see a booklet promoting Medical Tourism in Singapore. The booklet came along with Business Today. I glanced through the booklet and also visited the dedicated website which has been created for this purpose. This looks like a concerted effort and some initiative even half as good as this might do wonders for promoting India as a medical destination.


  • Is that Neil there, Neil Humphrey from today or what??
    Interesting read Kaps.

    By Blogger revatechnic, at 10:53 AM  

  • This Neil is from the US.

    By Blogger Kaps, at 2:21 PM  

  • The word 'Medical Tourism' is really attached to Kerala tourism. Visiors who are visiting to India for medical treatments finds comfortabel to go to kerala as a lot of ayurvedic treatments a are availble in Kerala.

    Some of the main ayurveda treatment availbe are Prime Treatments in Ayurveda whcich is a type of body treatment available in ayurvedic tourist centres. A lot more treatments like Abhyangam, Dhanyamla Dhara, Dhara, Kativasthi, Kizhi, Ksheeradhoomam etc are also available in Kerala.

    Our Kerala tour packages enables you to select the proper treatment you neede. Visit our website http://www.rajasthandiary.com to get more details are different ayurvedic treatments and its effects. Iam going to write about it in detail in my blog also.

    By Blogger rajasthandiray, at 1:18 PM  

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