You are on page 1of 18

ZENITH

International Journal of Multidisciplinary Research Vol.1 Issue 3, July 2011, ISSN 2231 5780

MEDICAL TOURISM IN INDIA: ISSUES, OPPORTUNITIES AND DESIGNING STRATEGIES FOR GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT
DR. SUMAN KUMAR DAWN *; SWATI PAL **
* Asst. Professor , Centre for Management Studies, JIS College of Engineering (Under West Bengal University of Technology), Block ―A’, Kalyani , Nadia -741235 , West Bengal. ** Asst. Professor , Centre for Management Studies, JIS College of Engineering (Under West Bengal University of Technology), Block ―A’, Kalyani , Nadia -741235 , West Bengal.

ABSTRACT Medical tourism is becoming a popular option for tourists across the globe. It encompasses primarily and predominantly biomedical procedures, combined with travel and tourism. The term medical tourism has been coined by travel agencies and the mass media to describe the rapidly growing practice of travelling across international borders to obtain hi-tech medical care. Various countries like Thailand, Malaysia, India, etc are promoting medical tourism aggressively. The key competitive advantages of India in medical tourism stem from the following: low cost advantage, strong reputation in the advanced healthcare segment (cardiovascular surgery, organ transplants, eye surgery etc.) and the diversity of tourist destinations available in the country. The key concerns facing the industry include: absence of government initiative, lack of a coordinated effort to promote the industry, no accreditation mechanism for hospitals and the lack of uniform pricing policies and standards across hospitals. Medical tourism or health care tourism is fast growing multibillion-dollar industry around the world. It is an economic activity that entails trade in services and represents the mixing of two of the largest world industries: medicine and tourism. The paper identifies the strengths of India’s medical tourism service providers and points at a number of problems that may reduce the growth opportunity of this industry. This paper focuses on the key issues and opportunities possessed by Indian medical tourism sector that enable it to overcome domestic and international barriers on upgrading its medical services. Finally, this paper analyses and concludes the main reasons why the developing country like India attracts foreign tourists for the medical treatment. KEYWORDS: Medical Tourism, SWOT, Yoga, Unani, Siddha, Ayurvedic, Naturopathy. ______________________________________________________________________________

INTRODUCTION AND SIGNIFICANCE OF MEDICAL TOURISM Medical tourism is a new form of a niche tourism market which has been rapidly growing in the recent years. The term medical tourism is the act of traveling to other countries to obtain medical, dental and surgical care. According to Goodrich & Goodrich (1987), medical tourism is the attempt to attract tourists by deliberately promoting its health-care services and facilities, in addition to its regular tourist amenities.

185

www.zenithresearch.org.in

U.1 Issue 3. 2007) Normally. ( c) The affordable international air fares and favorable exchange rates. Singapore. (2006). . Singapore. Carrera and Bridges (2006) have defined medical tourism as travel which is systematically planned to maintain one’s physical and mental health condition. Brazil. Costa Rica. 2007). July 2011. South Korea Bolivia.. Malaysia. prices and option.) the long waiting lists in the developed countries. and certain Latin American nations—attracts foreign patients for relatively cheaper care: the uninsured. Private sector development in emerging economies— such as India. 186 www. Monica (2007) has defined that medical tourism occurs when international patients travel across boundaries for their healthcare and medical needs. (b) the low cost of medical treatments in India than the other developed countries. and also an economic activity that entails trade in services and represents two sectors: medicine and tourism. Japan. (e) the state-of-art technology. medical tourism is the second mode of trade in health services. giving patients easy access to information.in . Belgium. Thailand.zenithresearch. nurses and paramedical staffs that has been adopted by the big hospitals and diagnostics centers in India. It has become 60 billion US dollar a year business with growing rate about 20% by a year which could increase to 100 billion US dollar by 2012. Bookman & Bookman (2007) have defined medical tourism as travel with the aim of improving one’s health. and Jordan. and any other form of tourism undertaken with the purpose of addressing a health concern. In India. countries that are currently promoting medical tourism are Thailand. Connell (2006) describes medical tourism as a popular mass culture where people travel to overseas countries to obtain healthcare services and facilities such as medical. Other than India. the majority of medical tourists come from the industrialized countries of the world especially Europe. with the development of communications.. ISSN 2231 5780 Laws (1996) has defined medical tourism as a travel from home to other destination to improve one’s health condition as one type of leisure. the underinsured. (d) the Internet. the UK. (Herrick.ZENITH International Journal of Multidisciplinary Research Vol.org. Hungary. This includes getting indigenous and alternative medical services. Middle East. dental and surgical care whilst having the opportunity to visit the tourist spots of that country. complicated surgical procedures are being done at one-tenth of the cost as compared to the procedures in the developed countries. Cuba. In this mode. Medical tourism according to Dhaene (2009) is looking for available quality combined with cost effective and low price health services while offering a similar level of safety to the patient. new companies have emerged who acts as middlemen between international patients and hospital networks. According to GATS (General Agreement on Trade and Services). The main reasons for the growing popularity in medical tourism in India are: (a. specialist doctors. customers (patients) leave their home country to obtain health care services with high quality and affordable prices Blouin et al.S. In India. and Canada where the cost of medical treatment is very expensive and there are often long waiting times for treatments. the medical education system also caters to the ever increasing demand for the delivery of the quality health care services all over the country ( Suthin et al. or those who prefer not to wait for treatment under a national health insurance system. It can be defined as provision of cost effective private medical care in collaboration with the tourism industry for patients needing surgical and other forms of specialized treatment.

The major service providers in Indian medical tourism are: the Apollo Hospitals. Colombia. Belgium. knee/hip different cosmetic surgeries and alternate 187 www. a public -sector hospital is also in the fray. Israel. Manipal Hospitals. Escorts Hospital. This paper highlights the strategy that needs to be implemented for shaping India as one of the key destinations for medical tourism across the globe.000 crore additional revenue for up-market tertiary hospitals by 2012 and will account for 3-5% of the total healthcare delivery market.ZENITH International Journal of Multidisciplinary Research Vol. Singapore. South Africa and Australia. In other words. Bolivia.. Mallya Hospital.zenithresearch. United Arab Emirates. Mumbai’s Asian Heart Institute.000-10. Horowitz and Rosenweig (2007) have identified the following countries as being medical tourism destination: China . The CII. MEDICAL TOURISM IN INDIA – THE CURRENT SCENARIO AND ITS DIFFERENT MODES Medical Tourism is poised to be the next Indian success story after Information Technology.1-2). Fortis Hospitals. Argentina. AIIMs. USA. Mexico.5000-10000 Crores by 2012 (CIIMckinsey. Cuba . OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY This research works explores opportunities. Jamaica. transcriptions and form processing. Lastly.1 Issue 3. Chennai. it is clear that the opportunities and challenges for growth in the health sector are seen primarily within the private/corporate sector. says the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII)-McKinsey study on healthcare (2002: pp. Philippines. In terms of locations – Delhi. along with Indian Health Care Federation (IHCF). Brazil. Breach Candy. Germany. including published research. Thailand and Singapore. it gives an approximate comparison of the cost of medical treatments offered in India. Apollo Heart Street. newspapers. India. Arvind Eye Hospitals. Therefore. According to a Mckinsey-CII study the industry’s earning potential estimated at Rs. Shankara Nethralaya etc. discusses its key challenges and designing the suitable strategies for developing medical tourism in India. United States. It also visualizes high-end healthcare services through Indian BPO firms like Hinduja TMT. it is needed to develop a strategic plan on medical tourism in India. This research work also strives to understand why some developing countries like India are more successful in promoting medical tourism than others. July 2011.org. One-stop centres in key international markets to facilitate patient flow and stream lining immigration for healthcare are envisaged. Bangalore and Mumbai cater to the maximum number of health tourists and are fast emerging as medical tourism hubs. and the travel and tourism magazines that carry medical tourism related information. This helps to design the strategies being used for promoting medical tourism in India. 2002). Comat Technologies. web sites. it also emphasizes over the competitive advantages of India over other countries. ISSN 2231 5780 In order to realize the full potential of this industry. Hungary. Medical tourism can contribute Rs 5. wants to establish an Indian healthcare brand synonymous with safety trust and excellence. Datamatics and Lapiz that work in the areas of claim adjudication. eye treatment . not in the public sector. Nowadays medical tourism in India includes advanced and life savings health care services like open transplants.in . Malaysia. Costa Rica . billing and coding. cardio vascular surgery. It is based on a review of the literature. Hinduja.

zenithresearch. Tummy reduction . India provides a variety of medical services to overseas patients.g. Rheumatism Cosmetic surgery Dental Care. Skin Treatment Medium South Africa . Eye treatment . Thailand Profit Margin Key Competitors Low Thailand . South Africa Low -- . Jordan. rejuvenation centres Alternative systems of medicine Ayurvedics. Cuba . Figure 1: The Medical Tourism structure in India Medical Tourism Wellness tourism Alternative systems of medicine Cosmetic surgery Advanced and life savings healthcare The table 1 gives a classification of the services spectrum of medical tourism in India vis-à-vis its competitive countries Table 1: Classification of the services spectrum of medical tourism across globe Wellness tourism Services offered Spas. Siddha treatment for diseases e. cardio vascular surgery.in 188 Open transplants. Arthritis. In vitrio fertilization High Singapore . Plastic Surgery . Thailand Advanced and life savings healthcare www. July 2011.org. Breast enhancement. The medical tourism structure in India is depicted in figure 1. Hip Replacement . ISSN 2231 5780 systems of medicine.ZENITH International Journal of Multidisciplinary Research Vol. Stress relief. Also leisure aspect medical traveling/wellness tourism may be included on such medical travel trips.1 Issue 3.

air.. Naturopathy. which has been proven as its effectiveness over a long period in India. Unani.in .org. Ayurveda provides a complete system of preventive medicine and healthcare. The diagnostic methods in Siddha medical system are based more on the clinical acumen of the physician after observation of the patient.zenithresearch. earth.e. The traditional arts and crafts add to her appeal to attract tourists. Siddha. according to the famous words “Atithi Devo Bhava” refers tourists are treated as God. The Siddha system defines disease as the condition in which the normal equilibrium of the five elements in human beings is lost resulting in different forms of discomfort. Unani system of medicine believes that the body is made up of four basic elements viz. as it does not believe in the specific cause of disease and its specific treatment but takes into account the totality of factors responsible for diseases such as one’s 189 www. ether. Ayurveda is based on natural herbs. hot-wet. which indicate that these methods were widely practised in ancient India. water and earth are manifested into the three Dashas or biological organizations known as Vata. Naturopathy differs slightly with other systems of medicine.e. fire. Pitta and Kapha. which have different temperaments i. water and fire. air.. they can understand what constitutes a good diet and lifestyle for themselves. Unani system of medicine believes in promotion of health. indigenous or traditional medical practitioners continue to practice throughout the country. hot-dry. If every individual knows his or her own constitution. After mixing and interaction of four elements a new compound having new temperament comes into existence i. ISSN 2231 5780 and Malaysia India’s Strength Low –Thailand has captured a significant share of the market High-Kerala is popular for this service Low –South Africa and Thailand leads in plastic surgery High-India has strong image on medical tourism India has a very old civilization of more than 5000 years and is known for her cultural and religious diversities with diverse geographical landmarks. These biological organizations are used by an individual to gain a full understanding of all aspects of bodily functions. pulse and diagnosis and clinical history. in addition to existence of modern medicine. The science of Ayurveda is based on the knowledge of the human constitution. and Yoga. Naturopathy believes that the human body possesses inherent self-constructing and self-healing powers. Naturopathy has several references in the Vedas and other ancient texts. prevention of diseases and cure. cold. The five great elements. wet and dry. In India. viz. in order to establish the harmonious balance required for a healthy existence. Popular indigenous healthcare traditions include Ayurveda.1 Issue 3. July 2011. cold-wet and cold-dry. hot. which gives distinct advantage. In India.ZENITH International Journal of Multidisciplinary Research Vol.

After the globalization and liberalization of Indian economy on 1991. placing these institutions on government panels and making them a part of government insurance schemes in addition to providing trained personnel and expert physicians through state –supported medical education. India is recognized as the cradle for test tube babies and is popular for surrogacy services (Qaders and John. Various Yogic postures gently massage internal vital organs. and its philosophy is an art and science of living in tune with the universe. 2009). has its origin in India. was given up by the Indian government after 30 years of Indian independence. through physical and mental well-being. dental. July 2011. keeping them in perfect condition. 190 www. Over than these. This internal harmony cleanses and detoxifies the body and boosts the immune system. mentally. The medical tourism definitely does not cater to emergency services. irrespective of their paying capacity.in . morally and spiritually. As a part of medical tourism. Cholesterol levels are kept in check and the blood pressure is normalized. or relaxation. Yoga is believed to be founded by saints and sages of India several thousand years ago. paediatric. Yoga. 2009). India offers high-tech cardiac. hip replacement (mostly orthopaedic). bone marrow transplant. the art and science of maintaining physical and mental well-being. All these traditional healthcare systems are attracting national and international patients.1 Issue 3. and generate tourism flows GROWTH. It is an instrument to self evolvement and enlightenment. This was done through shifting subsidies in terms of cheap land.org. The services provided are largely knee joint replacement. concessions from equipment and drug import. sleeping. The rapid growth of the private sector over the 1980s and the emergence of a corporate health sector in the 1990s was a part of the comprehensive policy that chooses to promote these segments.zenithresearch. and the environmental factors that disturb the normal functioning of the body. Yoga is a science as well an art of healthy living physically. OPPORTUNITIES AND PROCESS OF MEDICAL TOURISM IN INDIA The commitment to provide comprehensive healthcare to all citizens. Yoga has its origin in the Vedas. Hospitals also advertise for preventive health check ups for family members accompanying the patients in addition to alternative medicine services ( Peacock. the government of India has opened up medical service to the voluntary and private sectors for foreign tourists and other citizens who can pay to get the high-tech medical services. ISSN 2231 5780 unnatural habits in living. thinking. cosmetic and orthopaedic surgical services as well as the traditional healing systems. bypass surgery and cosmetic surgery etc.ZENITH International Journal of Multidisciplinary Research Vol. working.

000 13.org.000 Singapore 18. could grow 13 per cent in each of the next six years.000 9. July 2011.000 20.30.000 57.000 13.000 12.in 191 . can be boosted up to 30 per cent annually if bundled with tourism sector (International Marketing Conference on Marketing & Society.500 International figures based on hospital quotes in named countries Source: http://www.000 US 1.500 4.000 3.000 10.000 13.60. 2007.500 12.1 Issue 3. www.500 7. 8-10 April.com/docs/12163631/MEDICAL-TOURISM/P/36 Quality care. Thailand and India with the USA reveal the economic advantage offered to interested patients by India. IIMK) A detailed flow chart of the Indian medical tourism process is presented in figure 2. Thailand and Singapore (Approximated figures in US$) Procedure Heart bypass Heart valve replacement Angioplasty Hip replacement Hysterectomy Knee replacement Spinal fusion 62.000 6. package deals and cheap services from the tourism and hospitality sectors are the biggest attraction of medical tourism in India.000 5.ZENITH International Journal of Multidisciplinary Research Vol.000 India 10. USA. ISSN 2231 5780 Table 2: Cost comparison between India.000 10.000 40.docstoc.zenithresearch. The health care sector in India has witnessed an enormous growth in infrastructure in the private and voluntary sector. The Indian government predicts that India's health-care industry of $17 billion-a-year.000 8.000 12.000 43.000 9. relatively cheaper services compared to the west.000 1.000 Thailand 11.000 9. The price differentials of various procedures for Singapore.000 11.

if desired and if medically permitted Apply for and obtain visa extension.org. by leveraging its existing strengths and thereby offering a unique value proposition.1 Issue 3. there are three types of medical tourists. 192 www. July 2011. if required KEY ISSUES TO THE MEDICAL TOURISM INDUSTRY IN INDIA As various countries are at loggerheads to get a greater share in the medical tourism industry.in Depart from India-Surrender registration certificate before departure in the case of medical visa and where stay in India is for more than 180 days . receive post treatment instructions and get discharged Spend time through sightseeing of holidaying. Generally.ZENITH International Journal of Multidisciplinary Research Vol.zenithresearch. ISSN 2231 5780 Figure 2: Flow chart for Indian medical tourism process Prospective tourist to get medical service in India Planned Medical Treatment Obtain invitation from hospital & get medical visa Visit India on other visa. India needs to carve out a distant niche for itself. identify suitable hospital/treatment centre Get medical services from requisite diagnostics and hospital.

(g) lack of good language translators. Lack of infrastructural facilities like lack of connectivity. July 2011. (ii) taxation anomalies. (c) lack of Community participation and awareness.org. 2. 5. there are some specific issues to promote medical tourism in India. ISSN 2231 5780 Foreigners coming for medical treatment Foreigners seeking treatment and leisure Expatriates The country like India is facing the following issues/challenges to become a tourist destination with competent medical tourism industry. They are: (a) no regulations. unhygienic food handling. the medical tourism industry in India is also facing some key bottlenecks. (c) insurance frauds and (d) overseas companies refusing reimbursement. On the part of insurance and allied services. They are: (a) quality accreditations to the Indian hospitals and service providers.zenithresearch. lack of coordinating system. Opportunities and Threats) analysis on the Indian medical tourism Industry in its current state: . are: (a) poor accessibility. (b) training and Development to the Doctors. The government can play a vital part to upgrade the medical tourism sector. (b) lack of capital. poor power supply and poor water supply. But the industry is facing the following problems which are caused by the governments. due to the infrastructural parts in medical tourism sector in India. Most Indian hospitals are also facing the lack of trust from the foreign patients. They are: (a) inadequate insurance cover. Nurses and Para medical staffs. (e) lack of concern for sustainability. 3. (d) lack of involvement from rural sector. (c) lack of customer oriented approach www. Apart from these. The hospitals have observed poor hygiene awareness in medical attendants. 4. The following challenges.in 193 MEDICAL TOURISM IN INDIA – SWOT ANALYSIS The figure 3 depicts the SWOT (Strengths. 6. (e) lack of long-term investor friendly policies and (f) instability with respect to terrorism and communal tensions. (f) complex visa procedures. They are: 1.ZENITH International Journal of Multidisciplinary Research Vol. and (h) poor airport facilities. (b) underdeveloped insurance market in India. (d) no works on land reforms.1 Issue 3. (c ) bureaucratic roadblocks. and lack of proper hospitality services. Weaknesses. heterogeneous pricing of services and no industry standards.

high success rate in operations hotels and hospitals International Reputation of hospitals and Doctors Customer Perception as an unhygienic country Diversity of tourism destinations and experiences No proper accreditation and regulation system for hospitals Lack of uniform pricing policies across hospitals Opportunities Increased demand for healthcare services from countries with aging population (U. ISSN 2231 5780 Figure 3: SWOT analysis on Indian medical tourism Strengths Weakness Quality Service at Affordable Cost No strong government support / initiative to promote medical tourism Vast supply of qualified doctors Strong presence in advanced healthcare Low Coordination between the various e.in  Demand from countries with underdeveloped healthcare facilities . U.g. Malaysia. Singapore  Lack of international accreditation Overseas medical care not covered by insurance providers  Under-investment in health infrastructure  Demand for retirement homes for elderly people especially Japanese 194 www.1 Issue 3.zenithresearch. Canada Weaknesses Strong competition from countries like Thailand. organ transplants – players in the industry– airline operators.S.ZENITH International Journal of Multidisciplinary Research Vol.org.K)  Fast-paced lifestyle increases demand for wellness tourism and alternative cures Shortage of supply in National Health Systems in countries like U. July 2011. cardiovascular.K.

Gynaecology. gastroenterology. Price: India’s healthcare service providers have a competitive advantage among their competitor due to its high standard of medical treatments and services offered to the patients at a very competitive price. Dentistry. Psychiatry. Another marketing strategy used by service providers is to create more value through services. 195 www. one-to-one nursing care service. Australia. Endocrinology. 2008. Process. Japan) are considered as a valuable asset of the companies and used as an important tool to promote healthcare services. ISSN 2231 5780 DEVELOPING STRATEGIES ON INDIAN MEDICAL TOURISM After the SWOT analysis on Indian medical tourism and also interviewing the healthcare service providers in India as well as observing the different websites related to medical tourism’s growth and opportunities. Plastic Surgery. joint replacement.in . Place. 2. sightseeing tour services. Germany. the cutting-edge technology and equipment available made by each hospital is also used as one of the major products in this industry. interpreter services in many languages . Paediatric Neurology. hotel selection and reservation. Paediatric Surgery. transplants and urology to name a few. Dermatology. the following marketing strategies may be used by India’s healthcare service providers. on-line service for medical arrangement. Pulmonology. Welltrained medical staff with international board certification (US. These nonmedical care services are services such as. The various specialties covered are Neurology. Paediatrics. Price. Major healthcare service providers in India have started expanding their business to other countries by investing in and/or operating hospitals or medical center overseas. Ophthalmology.org. Chartered Marketing Institute.zenithresearch. 2005). ophthalmology. increasing its efficiency. Oncology. medical transportation both on land and air. and etc. creating convenience for the patients. They may be based on the 7 Ps of marketing mix: Product. sanitation. Rheumatology. Product: India has a number of hospitals offering world class treatments in nearly every medical sector such as cardiology and cardiothoracic surgery. Nephrology.ZENITH International Journal of Multidisciplinary Research Vol. Moreover. ENT. July 2011. Urology. Neurosurgery. These hospitals function as a diagnostic center for screening cases and also for followups in medical treatments. 1. complicated medical procedures are being done only at one tenth of the cost in industrialized countries but in terms of infrastructure facilities such as roads.1 Issue 3. orthopaedic surgery. and developing and strengthening the customer relationships. People. and Physical Evidence (Kotler. travel arrangement. power backups. In India. General Medicine & General Surgery. UK. Promotion. Superior value-added services have been created to differentiate themselves from their increasing competitors. luxury service apartments for patients’ relatives adjacent to the hospital.

health issues. trade fair. They work as a center cooperating between patients and hospitals for screening cases. Informative online marketing of each service provider creates awareness of the medical treatments available and reassures potential patients. These agents provide information and recommend the patients regarding their treatments to the hospitals. quality assurance/awards/accreditation available on their own websites and also to the international media. In addition. treatments description. and public utility services much more is needed for the country to become a medical tourism destination (Kaur et al. These help to create awareness of the available alternative medical treatments as well as to build up a positive image of the high quality and international standard of medical care in India. quality assurance other concierge services were also presented on the websites to attract the patient who are on medical traveling program. Interactive communication. other informative materials such as brochures. travel fairs.1 Issue 3. booklets. sending all the necessary medical reports of the patients to the hospitals. 3.. Promotion: Most healthcare service providers in India particularly big private hospitals participate in travel marts. 2007). It is the most effective and inexpensive way to reach the product to its target customers directly.zenithresearch. www. and advertise in travel magazines in countries with the supporting from the government. exchange of knowledge and training as well as to promote their alternative healthcare services. medical schools in other countries to establish collaboration in education. Place: Internet is the main means for disseminating information related to medical and non-medical care services offered by each of healthcare service providers. description of services and facilities. ISSN 2231 5780 accommodations.org. All the healthcare service providers generally take the help of the agents the in promoting their medical tourism.ZENITH International Journal of Multidisciplinary Research Vol. some healthcare service providers in India build up cooperation with the local institutes. conferences.in 196 . seminars. video. And at the same time agents have the responsibility of advertising and doing marketing in those countries for healthcare service providers. 4. exhibitions. Moreover. universities. Articles. and at the same time helping patients acquire correct and valuable information allowing them to make an informed decision. latest medical technology equipment. spreading word of mouth advertising of service assurance and reliability. July 2011. Advertising about medical and non-medical services in both local and international media are used by healthcare service providers. news related to their high quality and standard of medical treatments and services. paper bags and t-shirt with logos were also used to create awareness of the available healthcare services as well. video-cds.

making a decision to choose India as their preferred choice. www.in 197 SUGGESTIONS FOR DEVELOPING INDIAN MEDICAL TOURISM The following suggestions lay down the future path for India to achieve leadership position in medical tourism. It is well acknowledged that having specialized and qualified doctors and staffs gives a competitive advantage for the hospitals. 2004) 7. However. India has a large pool of doctors (approx 6.. due to the misunderstanding of the patients’ culture are still considered as problems and challenges for medical tourism business in India. nurses and paramedics with required specialization and expertise and the language advantage (English speaking skills).ZENITH International Journal of Multidisciplinary Research Vol. India is a popular destination for medical tourists.org. and also are equipped with cutting-edge technology. luxury rooms and excellent amenities same as that of a five star hotel for patients and relatives.1 Issue 3. Mallya Hospital. have a good ambience in their infrastructures with spacious.zenithresearch. Wockhardt Hospitals.000). shortage of doctors and trained medical staff is treated as the major concern in medical tourism in India. Escorts Hospital. 6. People: Another strategy that Indian healthcare service providers may use to attract the international patients for their low cost treatments in India as well as to get the medical services by its well-trained medical specialists who have qualified from well-known overseas institutes. Theses suggestions largely draw from the discussions with various stakeholders as well as observing the other countries’ medical tourism conditions. AMRI Hospitals etc. big hospitals like Apollo Hospitals. Moreover. (1) Role of Government .00. This is a competitive advantage of India in order to gain the confidence and build up the trust of international patients. July 2011. Physical Evidence: In India. ISSN 2231 5780 5. The medical education system caters to the ever increasing demand for the delivery of the quality health care services all over the country. (Iyer. M. The Joint Commission International (JCI) recognizes and accredits that the standard of the hospital meets or exceeds the standard of medical facilities as compared to the west. Manipal Hospitals. Process: International patients who seek medical treatments are mostly concerned with the quality of treatments and also want that the service providers preferably be accredited by a recognized international organization that audits medical quality. Breach Candy Hospitals Lilavati Hospital.

The government should actively promote FDI (Foreign direct investment) in healthcare sector as well as also enacts conducive fiscal policies . It is therefore essential to form an apex body for health tourism – National Association of Health Tourism (NHAT). . Visas can be extended depending on the condition of the patients.providing low interest rate loans. July 2011. with yoga and meditation programmes long with naturopathy. However. the apex body of software companies in the country. the subsequent registration and visa extension procedures are complicated and time consuming. leading private hospitals www.in 198 across the country are planning to set up a national-level body on the lines of National Association of Software and Service Companies (NASSCOM).org. The procedures for obtaining medical visa.zenithresearch. The hospitals have small spaces for the relatives to pray in. The main agenda for NAHT will be: (a) Building the India Brand Abroad: Classify the target consumer segments based on their attractiveness and position the India Brand based on the three main value propositions – high quality . The claim is that these enhance treatment. herbal medicine. these services are charged for and add to additional revenues. anti-pollution certificate etc. The government should reduce barriers in getting medical visa and institute visa-on-arrival for patients and also can create medical attachés to Indian embassies that promote health services to prospective Indian visitors. reducing import/excise duty for medical equipment It also facilitates clearances and certification like medical registration number. It also acts as a facilitator to encourage private investment in medical infrastructure and policy-making for improving medical tourism. acupuncture and homeopathy departments. (4) Setting Up National Level Bodies: To market India’s specialized healthcare products in the world and also address the various issues confronting the corporate healthcare sector.ZENITH International Journal of Multidisciplinary Research Vol. ISSN 2231 5780 The government of India must act as a regulator to institute a uniform grading and accreditation system for hospitals to build consumers’ trust. There is a need to simplify and speed up these procedures to make India a more attractive medical tourism destination. (3) Holistic medical and diagnostic centers within the corporate hospitals: Most of the big tertiary hospitals are opening up holistic centers within the premises.1 Issue 3. (2) Medical Visas: A simplified systems of getting medical visas should be developed in order to make travel across borders smoother. thereby wedding science with religion and traditional with modern medical practices.

which has hospitals like Brigham Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts Hospital in Boston under its umbrella. some hospitals may have hired Arabic interpreters. the medical tourism may . bank transactions. claiming savings. ISSN 2231 5780 service. offer airport pickups. As a part of this policy of promoting public and private initiatives. (5) Integrate vertically: Various added services may be offered to the patients. For example. (d) Standardization of Services: NAHT should also focus on establishing price parity for similar kinds of treatments in various hospitals and ensure the hospitals adhere to high hygiene and quality standards. The Apollo group has also tied up with hospitals in Mauritius. Bangladesh and Yemen. (b) Promoting Inter-Sectoral Coordination: The NAHT should take up the responsibility of aligning the activities of various players – Tourism Department.1 Issue 3. Specifically they may tie-ups with capacity constrained hospitals and insurance providers. and manages a hospital in Dubai (Dogra 2003).zenithresearch. (c) Information Dissemination using Technology: NAHT should set up a portal on medical tourism in India targeted at sharing information and enabling online transactions. Tanzania. Other than the central government’s list of hospitals for medical tourism on the web. With more Arab patients coming in. Hotel Associations. it runs a hospital in Sri Lanka. value for money and destination diversity. hotel accommodation. 3.in 199 bring patients from the US (Kohli 2002). For example Mohali’s Fortis Hospital has entered into a mutual referral arrangement with the Partners Healthcare System. the Indian travel industry and tour operators have also design packages that include air travel. In addition. They may also operate jointly to facilitate travel for medical services. stocked up on prayer rugs and opened up a kitchen serving the food preparations in corporate hospitals in India.ZENITH International Journal of Multidisciplinary Research Vol.org. or tie-ups with airlines for tickets and may help facilitate medical visas by the government. to www. It is felt that not only the private hospitals but the country too stands to benefit from this by earning foreign currency (Roy Choudhury and Dutta 2004). hospitals may have kiosks at airports. An integrated marketing Communications campaign using print. Indian hospitals should tie-up with foreign institutions for assured supply of medical tourists. Escorts personnel etc. and surgery expenses. media and road shows should be developed. Joint Ventures / Alliances: To counter increasing competition in medical tourism sector. July 2011. Transport Operators.

(2007) : “Medical Tourism in Developing Countries “. information and communication departments need to work in tandem for efficient patient care. R. (2006): “International Trade in Health Services and GATS: Current Issues and Debates”. the professional approach.. Blouin C.org.ZENITH International Journal of Multidisciplinary Research Vol. The government should take steps in the role of a regulator and also as a facilitator of private investment in healthcare. Mechanisms need to be evolved to enable quicker visa grants to foreign tourists for medical purposes where patients can contact the Immigration Department at any point of entry for quick clearance. & Smith. Baru . the technical expertise. Also attaining the accreditation/standard to reassure the quality of treatments as well as emphasizing on the needs and demands of the existing target markets must be incorporated. & Bookman. (2000) : “Privatisation and Corporatisation”. ISBN-13 3. World Bank. M. keeping up the high standard of quality treatments at a reasonable price. There is also a need to develop supporting infrastructure such as transport services to facilitate tourism in India. Bookman. July 2011. pp. The tourism. Textual and video testimonies of cured foreign patients and administrators describing the excellence of the treatment. Drager. the affectionate and caring doctors and staff. New York : Palgrave Macmillan . The government’s role is crucial to the development of medical tourism. Seminar . Washington DC. These include building and promoting the image of India as high quality medical tourism destination. www.1 Issue 3. providing informative online and offline materials and make them available to the potential customers. 29-22 2. K. import duty reduction on medical equipment. committees to promote and foster medical tourism are some of the initiatives that can be undertaken. V. N. health. and the cutting edge technology are all displayed on hospital web sites as evidence of efficiency. business magazines and journals on tourism. Tax incentives to the service providers. tourist guide books. ISSN 2231 5780 also get promoted through popular magazines.zenithresearch. This paper has recommended some of the medical tourism strategies for further promoting medical tourism in India.in 200 REFERENCES: 1. R. CONCLUSION India is in an advantageous position to tap the global opportunities in the medical tourism sector. 489 . the low cost. creating and promoting new combination of medical tourism products.

415422. New Delhi 7.M. Horowitz. expresshealthcaremgmt.in/bitstream/2259/345/1 /415422. P.forbes. (2008): “ Principles of Marketing”.rediff. New Jersey: Pearson education. pp. Kotler. The Physician Executive . CII-McKinsey (2002): “Health Care in India: The Road Ahead”. 1-15 September. Sun. 8. (2005). Carrera .1 Issue 3.. Health Tourism in India Growth and Opportunities. Connell. http://members.cim. pp.uk/MediaStore/FactFiles/Factifi le7ps. Iyer. Retrieved March 1. August 13. 1093-1100.iimk. M. 24-30 13. Dallas Texas. G. & Rosenweig. Shweta Rajpal (2002): “Medical Tourism Growing at 30% a Year: Study”. Inc. 16. pp. and Bhargava S. Sand and … Surgery”. (2007): “Medical Tourism: Global Competition in Health Care .(2004):”India out to heal the world”. 14. J.htm. P.M. Forbes S.40 12. October 26..com/20030915/focus01. Policy report No.pdf 6.447454 5. Open-heart surgery—90% off! Forbes. pp. Goodrich . Tourism Management. J. 12 November. 2007. G H. Shtml 9. Sapna (2003): “Can Delhi Be a Successful Model for Medical Tourism?” Express Healthcare Management.& GoodrichJ.pdf 15. Dogra.ZENITH International Journal of Multidisciplinary Research Vol. 27 (6).com/money/2002/nov/12med. Retrieved September 2.html. Expert review of Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research .ac.P (2006) : “ Globalisation and Healthcare : Understanding Health and Medical tourism”.zenithresearch.. Vaidya D.com Money. CII. McKinsey and Company and Indian Healthcare Federation. 2007.F. Armstrong. (2007). Chartered Institute of Marketing. ISSN 2231 5780 4. International Marketing Conference on Marketing & Society. July 2011. Rediff. & Bridges J. 304.. pp.M. D. September.217-222 11. Kohli.co.. Kaur. G.org. 10. from http://dspace. . NCPA. Sundar. Accessed September 3. (2007): “Medical Tourism-health care in the global Economy”. Marketing and the 7Ps A brief summary of marketing and how it works. Tourism Management . 2008. (1987): “Healthcare Tourism-An exploration study”. Accessed 27 November 2009: http:// www. 2008 from www. Also at: http://www. J. Times of India.in 201 www. Proceedings. 6(4).com/forbes/2007/0813/021. Harrick . (2006): “Medical tourism: Sea. National Centre for Policy Analysis.

Peacock. Clift and S. 69(6): 1185-96. May 23-27 May. 199-214).htm 21. I. Beijing.) Health and the International Tourist (pp. 22. 19. L. and Tirasatayapitak. Ezine Articles Retrieved from http://ezinearticles.. (2007) : “ Hospital and Medical Tourism in Singapore.1 Issue 3.zenithresearch. ISSN 2231 5780 17. page (Eds.. China 202 www. AORN Journal. Smart Travel Asia Accessed from Http:// www. Laws. Proceedings.in . Medical Tourism: Can supply keep up with the demand.J. Suthin.com/medical Tourism. 44 (2): 10-12. 18.ZENITH International Journal of Multidisciplinary Research Vol. APac-CHRIE & Asia Pacific Tourism Association Joint Conference 2007. Monica. July 2011. In S. 2007. E. Economic & Political Weekly. K. (2007). (2009) : “ Medical Tourism in India”. Assenov.org. Ann T (1999): “Caring for the Islamic Patient”.com 20.smarttravelasia. Qadeer. Routledge : London and new York. R. Imrana and Mary E John (2009): “The Business and Ethics of Surrogacy”.(1996) : “Health tourism : A business opportunity approach . A. McKennis.