India has quickly become the world’s top medical tourism destination with thousands of Americans alone travelling to the country to get various medical procedures done. Every day we get calls from numerous patients inquiring about medical travel to and from all over the world, but one trend that has recently been emerging is of US citizens travelling to India. Why is this so? To answer this question, we can take the example of a special assignment segment done by the KVUE News Channel recently on medical tourism in India where they focused on the experiences of Mike Sucalaskis, who traveled to India for a hip replacement surgery. His story highlights the biggest reasons why so many Americans are travelling abroad for expensive medical procedures.
Low Costs for Procedures in India
The biggest reason why most Americans choose to travel to India is the expensive medical procedures they can get performed for a fraction of the cost in America. Patients can save up to 60%-70% in costs for expensive surgeries and procedures, and this is a blessing for those without medical insurance.
This is exemplified in the case of Mike Sucalaskis, whose hip was giving him agonizing pain and made it difficult for him to walk. Mike needed a hip replacement surgery, a procedure that cost nearly $70,000 in the US, but was able to get this done in India for only $10,000, a number which included air fare and hospital stay in India.
High Quality Medical Care
For most people such shocking numbers send up a red flag, as was the case with Mike. When his doctor first suggested he travel to India, he thought he was crazy. It took 3 days for him to be convinced that this was a good idea. When mike got there however, he was pleasantly surprised by the quality of care that was offered.
Not only was his room a comfortable suite with an attached bath, the medical equipment and operating rooms were high class, and the doctor who operated on him was British educated and trained.
Low Cost of Luxury Lodgings
Another big reason people travel to India is that they can stay in luxury for very low costs as well. The costs of 5-star lodgings translate into fractions of those in America when it comes to most vacation expenses. Patients can easily recuperate in 5-star luxury and can use the money they saved in medical costs for a high class vacation in India.
Great Whether for Recuperation
Most of India, especially the bigger cities of Mumbai, for example; provide ideal weather for patients to recuperate, with abundant sunshine and warmth to help the body and bones heal properly. Patients can also relax and have a week’s worth of vacationing after they recover, and can enjoy various touristy sites and beaches before they return home.
As we can see from Mike’s experience, the quality of personalized care provided by doctor, nurses, and even the anesthesiologists in Indian hospitals is extra-ordinary. Another example highlights how these hospitals promote medical tourism by keeping a separate toll free number for foreign countries, providing complete packages for travelers, and even taking care of sightseeing, entertainment, keeping the companions comfortable and entertained, providing specialized cuisines to fit the visitors palate, and even providing cable TV with channels that the patient will enjoy.
Mike came to India barely able to put on his pants without spending a minute in agony, and left on his own two feet, not even dependent on his crutches anymore. For a father of a small boy working as a medical nurse and a dance coach on a cruise ship, this gift is invaluable, and something he could simply not afford in the US. For these reasons it seems the outsourcing of medical care to various countries all over the world through medical tourism is the way of the future for the medical industry.