The segmentation into markets and speciality is one of the trends in medical tourism. : BY MS GURU PRASAD
1. Patients travelling abroad for medical tourism can save from 30% to 90%.
The popular and growing trend that has come in medical tourism is due to advances in the field of medical technology, growing number of patients, skills in specialists and high level of expertise in the medical field. In simple terms, patients travelling from their home country to another country to secure medical treatment, which might not be available in their homeland, is known as medical tourism.
The main segments of medical tourism are cosmetic surgery, dental care, fertility treatment, cardiology and cardiac surgery. Medical tourism has made it easy for patients to travel to other countries and get much-needed medical treatment and undergo surgeries. The other side of the same coin is that this does have some disadvantages such as low quality medical treatment. Also, people from developed and advanced economies travel to emerging nations, thus affecting the revenue generation in their respective nation.
Medical tourism is rapidly gaining popularity in Asian countries like India due to the reasons such as reasonable cost of medical treatments and surgery, advanced medical technology, hospitality services, medical professionals and expertise, qualified doctors and nurses, favourable currency exchange rate, etc. International accreditation and high quality medical services in low prices are the key drivers of medical tourism. Patients travelling abroad for medical tourism can save from 30% to 90%. As a result, the demand for medical tourism is expected to witness exponential growth over a five-year period. Phenomenal growth prospects are to be seen in this industry. Medicines of Allopathy and Ayurvedic are both picking up rapidly with growth. Again, the disadvantage of the industry which is bound to happen are unprofessional conduct, aggressive marketing of hospitals, facilitators, false medical practices, inadequate additional medical care, etc.
The latest trend in medical tourism in India is the segmentation into markets and speciality. On the basis of geography, the potential markets are Central Africa, East Africa, CIS, Middle East and neighbouring countries. With reference to speciality, the main contribution specialities are cardiac, cancer, neurology, urology and cosmetic surgeries.
fied and segmented to a great extent for the benefit of medical tourism. Many emerging centres like Pune and Bengaluru are contributing a lot to the industry. The key players in the medical tourism industry play a significant role and they are also identified and the other small players are also doing their best for their identification.
The emerging and latest trends are formulation of strategies by experts of hospitals and operators are like provision of exceptional surgical options and its variants, maximum level of service to the inbound patients, clinical information, educational articles, sharing of wisdom about the industry, surgeries, expertise and specialist medical services, best quality and safety services, provision of medical treatments in affordable prices, creation of strong brand equity, video conference through skype, whatsapp, etc. The reachability of the patients to the medical services is to a great extent where they interact exhaustively with the treating doctor and the service provider before their travel.
2. A few players are reaching out to patients in their origin country for their treatment and surgeries.
Another latest trend is the identification of the diseases of inbound patients well in advance before they travel a long distance. There are no surprises left for them when they reach India. With the advancement of technology, the demands of the patients are met from time to time. In fact, a few of the major players are reaching out to the patients in their origin country for their treatment and surgeries. Technology had made them to outsource their diagnostic services to India for their second opinions.
Other trends are outsourcing and training of paramedical nurses and administrative staffs, robotic /virtual surgeries, electronic ICUs, etc.
MS Guru Prasad is general manager -international marketing, Narayana Health.