Since the dawn of time, man has been faced with a particular fact that is as immutable as the shape of the earth; the fact that your body is fragile and even if properly cared for, it will degenerate due to old age. So, in order to stay away from diseases, ailments, and thus prolong your life, you have resorted to the services of wise men or charlatans (in the old days) and doctors (in modern times). But with the onset of modern technology, medical science vastly improved and new methods of treating disease and illness emerged. Consequently, local doctors became better able to treat illnesses and therefore began to charge accordingly. The lucky ones could pay unlike the average person who sometimes could and sometimes couldn’t; so finally only the privileged were able to take full advantage of the progress of medical sciences.
This scenario began to change in the 1980s when health tourists from the west began flocking to certain Latin American countries offering affordable cosmetic, dental and other treatments. At the beginning of the 21st century, many more countries began to offer quality health care at an inexpensive cost, and the countries that led the pack were India and the Southeast Asian nations of Thailand and Singapore. The main reasons that drove healthcare tourists seeking medical treatment to come to these countries (especially India) were: A. the quality of the doctors B. the quality of the medical infrastructure C. The success rate D the lack of language barrier (English is the language in India and Singapore) and E. the cost (economic). Countries with lower exchange rates, compared to the patient’s home country, became attractive destinations because it effectively meant that the cost of medical treatment was reduced by between 30% and 70%.
Healthcare Tourists seeking quality and affordable medical treatment on distant shores also come from countries where there are long lines in front of clinics (from their local doctors) or there is a lack of quality healthcare (in their home country) . The procedures by which health tourists generally head towards foreign shores are traditional and alternative treatments (such as naturopathy, aromatherapy, Ayurveda, etc.), heart surgeries, orthopedic surgeries, organ transplants, cosmetic surgery, and reproductive treatments (such as in vitro fertilization, surrogacy, etc.).
The reason health care tourists head straight to India especially is to take advantage of traditional and alternative treatments like Ayurveda and Yoga (India is the birthplace of these treatment methods), reproductive treatments , heart surgery and organ transplantation. Chennai, one of the largest metropolitan cities in India, is often called the Health Capital of South and Southeast Asia due to the number of quality hospitals and thus the availability of beds in that city. . The fact that Chennai is very close to the city of temples and the silk saris-making center of Kanchipuram and the UNESCO World Heritage-listed ‘Mahabalipuram Group of Monuments’, works in your favorite hospitals often represents the medical stay of a patient with some sight in these nearby places. by destinations. These packages are the best examples of health tourism.
A recent report published by FICCI (Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry) and KPMG (one of the world’s largest professional service provider companies) titled ‘Medical Value Travel’ found that India together with Thailand and Singapore represented almost 60% of the income obtained by Asian countries through health tourism. The study found that these countries combined a patient’s medical stay along with some tourist visits and promoted it as a package to attract patients.
In conclusion, health tourism is a phenomenon that is not only here to stay, but will also be a great source of foreign exchange for the countries that would provide these services. As long as healthcare providers make sure to provide state-of-the-art treatment, superior services, and are affordable at the same time; your success levels will only increase in the near future.