India is now becoming a very important destination for people from the world over who visit for their medical needs, travel and relaxation. Medical tourism is a well developed concept; it is projected to overtake IT in terms of revenue generation in India by 2015. The most common treatments such as heart surgery, knee transplant, cosmetic surgery, dental care which are very costly in the other countries are offered to the patients at comparatively lower rates in India. India has fast become the ultimate target for health tourists from across the world. The cost factor compared to western countries, the vast resources of professional skill and excellence and the availability of different systems of medicine and rejuvenation therapy are the driving forces of this phenomenon Yet another reason why India is the favourable health tourism destination is its infrastructure and technology in which it is on par with the best in USA, UK and Europe. Since India is also one of the most favoured tourist destinations in the world, medical treatment combined with tourism offers unlimited entrepreneurial scope and potential. India has some of the best hospitals and treatment centres in the world. The potential of health tourism coupled with the long-felt need to have a multi specialty hospital to render quality services at an affordable cost in a pleasant & calm location, within the reach of urban and rural population is conceptualized by our group of medical professionals increasing this project.
Medical Tourism and Kerala Kerala is usually marketed as a health destination for its Allopathy, Ayurveda, Dental packages. Medical tourism is marketed along with Allopathy, Ayurveda, dental and other health packages. Medical tourism is like any leisure product where apart from travel package, one gets medical treatment at the best hospitals. The medical treatments for various ailments are packaged with leisure packages at luxurious tourist resorts.
A combination of many factors has led to the increase in popularity of medical tourism in Kerala:
- High costs of healthcare in industrialized nations
- Ease and affordability of international travel
- Improving technology and standards of care.
- Our doctors and nurses are accepted all over the world.
- We are known as compassionate people (even Thailand lack this)
- Kerala Hospitals give many consultancies under one roof
- Offer eco friendly environment
- NRIs all over the world function as ambassadors for Kerala
- Some US NRIs function as Entrepreneurs facilitating Medical Tourism to India & Kerala: (18 NRI Travel Agents operate in Medical tourism arranging to and fro travel, treatments and sightseeing).
Some Reasons for Travel of Foreign Patients to India/Kerala:
- UK NHS—National Health Service for poor citizens is heavily burdened and the system almost collapsed. Indian costs being only 1/6 of UK attract the lower and middle income groups to India.
- In the U.S. the cost of medical treatment is so high that only 10% can afford the costs in US, while Indian costs are only 1/10.
- The Middle East: Huge infrastructure facilities are available. But the expertise is insufficient.
According to the CII-McKinsy report, medical tourism industry in Kerala is expected to be worth $4 billion by 2017. This sector will bring in as much as $2 billion by 2012 as compared to an estimated $333 million in 2006-07. While medical tourists from Germany, France, Switzerland and the US prefer Ayurveda treatment, those from West Asia and the UK give more importance to modern medicine.
"Kerala has an immense potential to develop the scope of health tourism in the country. It can become the hub and one of the most preferred destinations in the world for potential health tourists," Sri Lankan minister for minor export crop promotion Reginald Cooray suggested when he was inaugurating the two-day international conference and exhibition on health tourism, Kerala Health Tourism 2011, organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) at Hotel Le Meridian. Kochi.
Kerala Government Incentives The government of Kerala declared Tourism as an Industry in 1986. Medical Tourism is promoted by the government through technical guidance, marketing assistance and publicity through the government infrastructure.
Raihan Institute of Medical Sciences and the Medical Tourism RIMS have ambitious plans to tap this immense potential in the field of medical tourism. Having Kochi Airport within 100 Kilometres the place is surrounded by various tourist spots like Idukki, Vagamon, Kumarakom and the back waters.
The role of RIMS in medial tourism of Kerala RIMS is going to play a vital role in the field of medical tourism in Kerala because
- The place is closer to KOCHI international Airport
- It is surrounded by tourist spots
- The doctors of RIMS already have definite patient base in the gulf countries and treating the patients from those areas in the present organizations.
- We are establishing world class facilities in the hospital
- The bariatric surgery is going to be the trump card of foreign business and the incidence of obesity is very high in these countries.
- We are going to pioneer surgery for diabetes in Kerala a branch relatively in native state. In Kerala around 40% are diabetic and the story is similar in western world.
- We envisage patients from Srilanka, Maldives as well as from Middle East.
We plan to promote medical tourism in a professional manner gaining around Rs 8-12 Crore annually in the initial years of operation.