Interesting to note in the below article Fortis reported that this growth rate of 30-35% per year does not include the non-resident Indians coming to the country for treatment. those statistics would be very interested to find.
The Americans are coming for medical treatment
Published: Thursday, Nov 4, 2010, 1:14 IST
By Somita Pal | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA
India could soon become a prime health tourism destination for many Americans.
The Americans are increasingly visiting Mumbai for medical treatment, as healthcare facilities are cheaper, compared to the United States.
The Indian healthcare industry hopes that US president Barack Obama's visit will fetch them goodwill and that the American government may look at some form of association.
Fortis Healthcare CEO Vishal Bali said, There has been a 30-35% rise in American patients being treated in Mumbai per annum. And we are not including non-resident Indians. They find treatment here more affordable, and it is high quality healthcare.
Healthcare reforms were part of Obama's presidential campaign. With the increasing number of Americans visiting Mumbai for affordable healthcare, the industry in India is looking forward to some form of collaboration with the US, Bali said. Official figures show nearly five lakh Americans came here for cheap treatment in the last one year.
A cardiac surgery in India costs a foreigner $13,000, including stay and travel. The same surgery in the US costs $55,000-$75,000. While a joint replacement surgery in India costs $9,500, in the US it costs $50,000. With the recent economic slowdown, people in developed countries like the US, are looking for better value for money, and India offers the best deals, said Bali.
Besides, low treatment cost, availability of world-class hospitals with latest technology and skilled doctors, contribute to more foreigners visiting the country for treatment.
A senior tourism ministry official said, Earlier, people came to India for ayurvedic treatment. The trend of foreigners coming to India for treatment has gained momentum in the last five years. With more multi-specialty hospitals coming up in the country, we are tough competition for medical hotspots like Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia.
An American patient, Misty, who is undergoing spinal surgery at Fortis hospital at Mulund, said, When the doctors in the US said I need to undergo spinal surgery, the only option I had was a spinal fusion surgery as disc replacement was not covered under medical insurance because I am self-employed. That's when I thought of looking out for options, at a quality place at an affordable price. I researched on the Internet for almost six months and Fortis came up. My surgery would have cost $200,000 in the US, whereas I have paid $20,000 here, which includes travel, hospital stay and surgery cost.
A boom in private hospitals is changing the nation's health delivery landscape beyond recognition.
A recent study by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry Ernst & Young shows 15-20% growth for the Indian medical equipment market. It is slated to grow from Rs9,000 crore to Rs22,500 crore by 2012. Private hospitals are taking the lead in introducing latest technological wonders. With easy access to visa facilities, medical tourism is turning out to be another potential source of income for the healthcare industry, said the official.