Medical Tourism: Traveling Beyond Borders for Health and Pleasure

Medical tourism is defined as the enhancement or restoration of the individual’s health through medical intervention by organized travel outside one’s natural healthcare jurisdiction.

Patients needing major heart surgery, hip operations , cataracts or even looking for breast augmentation, nose job, body contouring  are using the internet to book operations to be carried out thousands of miles away.

Around 8-9 million patients from across the world travel overseas each year to avail treatment. The worldwide medical tourism market is growing at a rate of 15-25%

  • Singapore is the most thriving medical tourism center in the South East
  • In Latin AmericaPanama and Costa Rica  are becoming well-known tourist spots for medical travelers
  • Mexico being close to the US is now one of the top rated medical tourism destinations.
  • Malaysia is also a famous destination for medical tourists and travelers
  • Another hot spot for medical tourism is India
  • Seoul in South Korea is the plastic surgery capital of the world
  • South Africa is the first country in Africa to emerge as a medical tourism destination
  • India, Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand are well-established destinations for patients seeking cardiac surgery and orthopaedic surgery
  • Italy, already recognized as a major travel destination, offers medical tourists the opportunity to combine treatment with a vacation of a lifetime
  • The Malaysian government provides flexible ease of entry for foreign patients entering Malaysia for treatment where visa for medical tourists are extended if needed, from 30 days to 90 days
  • Thailand hospitals are among the first in Asia to be internationally accredited. To date, there are 37 hospitals accredited by JCI in Thailand
  • The uniqueness of India is its ability to offer holistic medical services such as unani, yoga, meditation, ayurveda, and homeopathic treatments

Medical  tourism is defined  as the enhancement or restoration of  the individual’s health through medical intervention by organized travel outside one’s natural healthcare jurisdiction.

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Boat clinic – “a ship of hope in a valley of flood”

Boat clinic in Assam

There are about 2,400 small and medium island villages in Assam on the Brahmaputra inhabited by a population of about 3 million. They are locally called chars or saporisas in Assam. They represent 8 percent of the total population of the state of 30 million.  Every year the big and mighty Brahmaputra river floods.  Lacs of people get displaced and extensive property, crops and livestocks are destroyed. Health problems become acute. Many get affected by water-borne diseases. A major problem for these people is access to medicines and sustained health care.

Sanjoy Hazarika, director, Center for North East Studies and Policy Research (C-NES).

The boat clinic is the brainchild of Sanjoy Hazarika, director, Center for North East Studies and Policy Research (C-NES). It was while working on a documentary film in Assam in 1996, that Hazarika heard of a pregnant woman dying on a sapori, trying to reach a medical facility. By 2004, Hazarika, a former New York Times reporter came up with the idea of a ‘boat clinic’— that would take doctors and basic healthcare to these areas. He presented this idea to world bank and won the innovation prize (called Akha or hope) in the year 2005.

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The latest service to reach your doorstep: HEALTHCARE

Healthcare @ Doorstep

Indian consumers are opening up to a new service – Home based healthcare.

They offer the best of the service at the comfort of your home. Now children working abroad need not feel guilty of putting their parents to old age home, but feel happy that parents can get the needed support and medical care at their own home. Also in this busy world when everyone is on a rush and has no time to even perform a health check-up, it’s really a boon that service providers come home to collect blood, urine sample and post results through mail. They even offer doctor visit at home.

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