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Title: Developing Strategies for Making a Hospital a preferred Destination for Medical Value Travel
Authors: Meena, Dharam Singh
Keywords: Healthcare Services
Medical Tourism
International Patient
Shankar Das
School of Health Systems Studies
Issue Date: 2015
Publisher: TISS
Abstract: Medical tourism comprises a phenomenon where over five million patients a year are travelling across international borders to obtain various forms of health care. Most of these patients travel from developed countries to developing nations, seeking highly invasive medical treatments to less invasive and recreational medical procedures. Indian hospitals have been scrambling to compete against international hospitals to draw patients at several stages. The medical value travel industry in India is still maturing phase due to several causes. The objective of this research was to answer the questions: problem and challenges faced by Indian hospital, the procedure follows in promoting medical value travel, satisfactory level of international patients and influencing choose an Indian hospital as the destination. To explore this opportunity in more detail, semi-structured interview with the expertise of international patient services and international marketing persons have been conducted, by doing a survey of international patients, by taking feedback of international patients. The parameters explored include the sort of problem faced by the organization, challenges in medical value travel industry, the satisfaction level of international patients, procedure for promoting medical value travel and influencing factors which leads to choose India as a preferred address. This research concludes the there is a huge scope of medical value travel and it is also growing with the flying rate. India introduced various marketing schemes to attract medical value travel patients. India stands between top three preferred destination in Asia due to low cost, better quality of service, quality infrastructure and high expertise medical staff and better tourist location after treatment for spending leisure time. The price of treatment in India is almost a tenth of cost in U.S. India is a well-known place for Cardiology, Orthopedic, Oncology, Neurology, Urology and Neurosurgery. The most preferred procedure is cardiac surgery, joint replacement, oncology, cosmetic surgery, neurology and Bariatric surgery. The survey likewise concludes that available published literature is largely concentrated on the stream of international patients from western countries like U.S. and U.K. while primary research shows that maximum inflow is from SAARC countries and the African region. Huge gap is found between published data and research data. Medical value travel is found predominately in private hospital except few institutes like AIIMS. While medical value travel holds plentiful opportunities, in that respect are some challenges like ethical and litigation events, post -operative complication on returning to home country, public private health care inequity due to domestic brain drain from public sector to the private sector.There is a requirement of greater government involvement to give the medical value travel industry an infrastructure status, aimed at making it as rewarding as the Indian IT sector.
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