26 Aug 2021

Medical Tourism Creating a Low-Cost Framework

Post by uday patel

Old Ledger

For a highly competitive medical tourism framework, the cost keeps the ball rolling in this service sector. This tremendous economic diversification comes about by creating an efficient framework that reduces the cost of treatments and, at the same time, excels in quality.

But the decision to travel overseas for treatment is also guided by safety concerns and stable political ambiance besides the presence of attractive tourist destinations. The prospects of fun and recreation are also taken into consideration while planning.

Factors that impact medical travel adversely are the difficulties in obtaining a visa and the waiting time for surgery. However, with such a vast health infrastructure with several alternatives, delay or waitlist is practically absent in our country in private hospitals. As for travel, the Ministry of Tourism facilitates an e-medical visa which is economical and availed online without any hassles.

Health Care India

Health Care in India

It is eventually the medical outcomes that matter the most, albeit the low cost is overpowering. For many, the price is secondary.

What if you get both benefits?

India provides a package that outdoes those of more advanced countries. At the same time, positive medical outcomes have been proven. Most travelers seeking recuperation or surgery in India arrive from Arab lands and APAC, but Africans, and citizens of the EU, the US, and the UK now head for our shores.

Cost Reduction Determinants in India

Cost reduction for medical treatments and procedures are dependent upon several factors. The healthcare substructure shaped by private and public enterprises is on the top of the list and blessed by a proactive dispensation.

With a per capita income of around 2100 USD, the cost of living is low in India. The salient feature of the country’s economy is the strong middle class that follows a frugal lifestyle, much more prudent than extravagant. This is an antithesis of what we see in the West. The cost of living in India is 64% lower than that in the US or Europe.

Subsequently, the health care costs are much less along with insurance schemes. India has allocated a budget of more than 5 billion USD for the years 2021 to 2022 for boosting health care.

The cost of living depends on several factors, but the most significant is producing own food and industrial goods and robust, affordable transportation. Indian Railways and busses facilitate cheap travel options besides sharing taxis and rickshaws within the town limits.

For a fast-rising economy, the personal expenditure scales are low as far as basic necessities are concerned. Indians work on relatively lower wages, perhaps due to internal competition and the lower cost of living. For the same output, health professionals can work with lower salaries as compared to the West. This applies to those providing allied services in medical institutions and the line management as well.

Besides comparatively low wages, several factors are in control that enables the health systems to deliver at lower costs. This is a unique paradigm followed by some Nations in APAC as well.

The determinants that govern medical travel costs are as follows:
• Expenditure on Travel.
• Cost of Extended Stay.
• Food Prices.
• All-Inclusive Treatment Packages Pricing.

A patient planning to travel to a foreign land for surgery or intensive care would consider the above factors while deciding. But remember, the impact nullifies if the medical outcomes are noted to be unsuccessful in a destination.

Comparison with Developed Countries

A two-week treatment or vacation trip for two people costs around 500 USD as far as transportation is concerned. This cost factor excludes air travel. Food is cheap and good if you do not splurge in a five-star facility. Thus, excluding the cost of treatment, a two-week medical journey will cost around 1500 USD, including the sundries if you are not a spendthrift. The vast transportation network offers options that range from luxury to affordable.

Travel in the US or EU would cost three times more than that. If you add accommodation and sightseeing during recuperation, the cost will skyrocket in these countries. A deluxe room in a hospital or a luxury hotel accommodation in India costs around Rs. 1500 per day on average in major cities. In a two-tier city, the costs would be lower. The accommodation costs can be brought down further by renting a room in a guest house or a homestay.

Most of the hospitals and clinics in India conform to international standards but are cheaper. Even though investment in equipment and the latest medical devices are enormous, Indians manage to extract maximum benefits from them, thus reducing the cost of usage. Several no-frill hospitals provide state-of-the-art services and cost less.

Most hospitals and clinics are situated in two-tier towns and cities where the costs are much less than metros. For example, the cost of bypass surgery in Chennai would be around 4000 USD to 6000 USD. At Nagpur, the same heart procedure would cost a little over 2000 USD. At the same time, this would cost around 75000 USD in the US, as per the Los Angeles Times.

Indian Government and its counterparts at state-level subsidies certain medicines and medical devices, which positively impact treatments costs and intensive care. The support is mainly related to formulations that affect the life-threatening disease. Incentives provided to the tourism sector also impact medical travel to India.

Tags: , , , , , , ,


Leave a Comment