Medical Tourism is Becoming a Huge Industry in India
Many types of medical treatment in India cost a fraction of what they do in the United States and other Western nations, and citizens from these countries are flocking to India by the thousands. Until recently, it was the other way around, as upper-income Indians commonly rushed to America and Europe for sophisticated treatment.
With world-class medical care, equipment and facilities now available in India, patients from the United States and other developed countries are going there for treatment.
A number of private hospitals in India offer packages designed to attract foreign patients, with airport-to-hospital bed transfer service, Internet access, and other facilities. Some packages include add-ons, such as a yoga holiday or a trip to the world-famous Taj Mahal.
Howard Staab, a 53-year-old carpenter-contractor from North Carolina, was diagnosed last year with a serious heart condition. Mr. Stabb's doctor recommended surgery as soon as possible. But he had no health insurance.
The estimate for hospital care alone was nearly $100,000. The cost for the surgeon, the cardiologist, the anesthesiologist, the radiologist, and the pathologist, along with the cost of a heart valve and prescription drugs, has brought the total up to a staggering $200,000 - assuming no complications. Howard Staab did some research and decided to go to Escorts Hospital in New Delhi, where the estimated cost was under $10,000, including airfare, surgery, and rehabilitation.
Howard Staab said, "I was apprehensive (in the beginning) because I had no experience with India or about the quality of care, and the situation there. But my experience was superb. From the time we arrived at the airport, Escorts(Hospital) people escorted us to the hospital, gave us excellent care. The surgeons and all the staff were extremely professional, kind and caring. Everything went very well and I was so satisfied and impressed with the care."
Dr. Naresh Trehan is the executive director of Escorts Heart Institute and Research Centre in New Delhi, a leading private healthcare provider. Dr. Trehan worked as a heart surgeon in Manhattan from 1968 until 1988, but returned to start the Escorts Hospital Group in India. He says the success of the operations performed and the care dispensed at his hospital have established the institute's credibility.
Dr. Naresh Trehan said, "Now we do over 4,000 heart operations a year, and the mortality, which is an index of how well things are, is 0.8 % which is even better than most places in the world. The other thing that we measure is infection rate. Ours is 0.3 % as compared to the world average of 1%."
Dr. Trehan says American citizens not covered by insurance - or those in countries such as the United Kingdom where there are long waiting lists for many National Health services - prefer to receive treatment in a country like India where top-tier institutions can provide high-quality health care at a fraction of the cost.
The American system is excellent, but the cost and the compulsion to send people home early is actually stressing out many people, and they prefer to come to our country where we can take care of them in a more comprehensive manner. Our nurses are being trained to U.S. levels. Two hundred of our nurses have already gone to the United States for training. Our doctors have established their credentials all over the world. Today, 7 percent of doctors in America are Indians and 11 percent of the specialists are Indians.
Language is another big advantage in India, says Howard Staab, who spent more than three weeks in Escorts Hospital and at a resort, recuperating after surgery: "Doctors and nurses were all Indians, and many of the doctors were trained in the United States and Britain and most of them spoke very good English. I did not have any trouble understanding them."
Howard Staab's partner Maggie Grace, who accompanied him on his medical trip to India, is writing a book about their experience. We want to help people in the United States know they have choices, says Mr. Staab: "There will be our book coming out very soon. My partner Maggie Grace is writing it. The book title is Patient Pilgrimage: A True Story of the First Americans Travel to India for Heart Surgery and the website is www.howardsheart.com.
Howard Staaab says one key to his trip's success was that it combined a high degree of medical excellence with a human touch.
India is hoping to expand its medical tourism industry. In addition to Escorts Heart Institute and Research Centre in New Delhi, Apollo is another major hospital group and is one of Asia's largest private healthcare providers. Apollo Group has six hospitals in India, one in the southern city of Hyderabad where Apollo also has its headquarters.
Other Apollo hospitals are in New Delhi, Chennai, Lucknow, Pune and Kolkata. Apollo has treated 43,000 foreign patients during the last 3 and a half years. Several medical experts say India has established expertise in practices such as cardiac care, cosmetic surgery, joint replacements, and dentistry. And it has immense potential for medical tourism as medical costs skyrocket in the United States and other developed countries.
Why Our Healthcare System Isnt Healthy
Most people are well aware that an estimated 45 million Americans currently do not have healthcare, but is the crisis simply the lack
Stopping Hospital Infections
Each year hospitals end up killing twice as many people than automobiles, some 90,000 deaths in the United States. It is not from malpractice, i
Protect Yourself Against the Flu Vaccine!
The vaccine industry insists that their vaccines against the flu serve as the key to a healthy winter. Although there has
Chinese Medicine, over 2000 years old, is an ancient form of medicine. Consisting of acupuncture, moxibustion (moxibustion - using material made up of
Medical Billing Specialist
As Pres. Bush was touring the Midwest, shortly before he was re-elected as President, and even after, he spoke of medical reform centering on
Nasonex And You: Breathe Easy, Not Sneezy
While everybody else is wandering around enjoying the spring weather, are you hiding out in your hermetically-sealed house? Do you dread the star
Chronic Headaches and Pain Often Can Be Eliminated By A Special Dentist
DENVER ? Sometimes as Freud once said a good cigar is just a smoke. A headache, on the other hand, occas
Physicians, Chiropractors and Physical Therapist Agree on a New Treatment for Low Back Pain
One of the most prevalent and difficult health conditions to treat in the physical medicine is low back pain. The difficulty in tre
Web Therapy: Enhancing Patient Communication with Web Access
According to Jennifer Lyons' chart, she's just a bad slip and fall who's lucky enough to be on her way to a full
Increasing Patient Care and Reducing Liability in Seven Simple Steps
When an unconscious patient arrives in the ED, every hospital agrees that timely next of kin notificat
Cetyl Myristoleate Seperating Fact From Fiction
I am a strong believer in Cetyl Myristoleate for the treatment of arthritis. For the last three years I have been res
Medical Tests: What Does a Normal Range Mean?
We have a marvelous array of medical tests available to us. Many of them-typically blood-tests-even come with results expressed
CT and MRI Scans in Neurological Practice
Before computed tomographic (CT) scans became available in the 1970s, there was no good method for imaging the brain. The a
Alcohol Rehabilitation Centers - Take An Informed Decision
Alcohol rehabilitation centers in the United States offer a wide range of treatment programmes for your recovery f
Contact Lenses and Eye Glasses
How is Your Vision?
Notice friends getting contact lenses and pulling out eye glasses?