Career in Medical Tourism

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Career in Medical Tourism

Medical tourism refers to the people traveling all over the world for dental, surgical and other specialized care and at the same time touring. It also represents the provision of cost effective private medical care.

The ultimate concept of medical tourism is a tour to surrounding destination, medical treatment and savings. Medical tourism is the buzzword in India now. The Indian government as well as private players are keenly assessing the potential and means to tap the same. India, one of the most sought after medical tourism destinations in the world, has patients from over 60 countries getting treated in various hospitals across the country.

The boom in the state of the art hospitals and well qualified doctors, lower treatment cost to shorter waiting period for surgeries are the reasons for attracting the patients from neighboring countries such as the middle east and the west.

The equation is “first world treatment” at “third world prices”. The various diseases for which overseas patients look India as a hot destination for medical procedure includes serious ailments which require neuro surgery, ophthalmic disorders, heart related problems, renal disorders, organ transplantation, congenital disorders, gene therapy, radio therapy, plastic surgery, joint replacement and so on.

Medical Care Infrastructure in India

In India, it is estimated that there are 15,000 hospitals, 8,75,000 hospital beds, 5,00,000 doctors, 7,37,000 nurses, 170 medical colleges, 3,50,000 retail chemist outlets.

Around 18, 000 new doctors are added every Year. Almost 80,000 additional beds are still required. Public health care system is adding 8000 beds per Year.

The size of the Indian Medical Tourism sector is about 1,00,000 to 1,50,000 patients a Year. The Indian health care federation, a consortium of non – governmental hospitals, diagnostic centers, medical equipment manufacturers and Pharma – Ceutical industries says about 1,00,000 foreign patients are coming to the country, up from 10,000 upto 5 Years ago.

It is estimated that the annualized growth of the medical tourism market was about 30 per cent in 2000, up from 15 per cent in the five previous Years.

The growth has been limited since foreign patients represent only a fraction of total patients handled by individual hospitals. It is forecast that market of private care in India could range from 15,000 crore to 30,000 crore by 2012 and medical tourism can potentially raise that by 5,000 crore to 10,000 crore.

Medical tourism represents 25 per cent of revenues of private up market care in this estimate and 3 to 5 per cent of the total delivery market.

India Gate Way

India’s health care sector is on the road to global fame. A growing number of spotlessly clean private hospitals are on the threshold of a boom in medical tourism, positioning themselves as the best destinations for procedures ranging from coronary by passes to orthopedic surgery at the most affordable costs.

These hospitals offer high quality care for patients from abroad, whose numbers are reportedly rising 15% annually; the prices that they charge are a fraction of what prevails in the developed world.

India’s corporate hospitals are fully equipped, up market and efficient. With their toll free help lines, interactive websites, online quotes and time bound treatment access, they appear to be a world apart from the over burdened, often badly managed and poorly funded public health system. Many opt to undergo surgery in India for reasons that range from long waiting times in the UK, high costs and lack of insurance cover in the US to plain lack of expertise in many Asian, African and West Asian countries.

Allopathic treatment system in India can offer treatment in specialties such as cardiac, liver, renal and orthopedic procedures, which indian systems and medicine could attract patients from even the developed world to treat “life style diseases” such as stress and rheumatism.

Many visitors who come for such de – stressing and health – building treatment may also choose to visit tourist spots. The state of kerala, is famous for ayurvedic treatment, has declared 2006 as the Year of medical tourism and is actively supporting its well known traditional medicine and tourist sectors, as they reach out to more potential visitors.

The national health policy, 2002 endorses provision of health services “on a payment basis to service seekers from overseas”. Medical tourism can be a much bigger business, if we have infrastructure and networking among the hospitals, hotels and tourism agencies; if we want to make medical tourism a booming business, we should upgrade the existing wards to an international multi – specialty block or if necessary separate wings should be build for foreigners.

The key to a significant increase in patient arrivals, however, lies in becoming globally accredited. Corporate hospitals have begun factoring this requirement into their medical tourism plans. Strong emotional bonds can indeed be built by treating patients from other nations. We must match with the hospital documentation standards in USA and UK.

An important aspect is that the insurance company must cover all the risks in the event of an adverse treatment outcome. Medical tourism needs a national task force that will bring hospitals and the government together. We must ensure that a health divide is not created within the country and yet use this huge opportunity. Many of the hospitals should upgrade themselves by offering latest medical diagnostic facilities to medical tourists, which may also bepackaged with vacations in a tie – up with airline companies.

Career Opportunities for Medical Tourism

The Institutes which offer courses in MBA in travel, tourism & air cargo managements are :

S.No.
Events
Date
1.Last date issue of Admission Application Forms by NIRD18th November, 2011
2.Last Date for receiving filled in admission application forms at NIRD, Hyderabad 5th December, 2011
3.Last Date for receiving filled in admission application forms at NIRD, Hyderabad from North Eastern States15th December, 2011
4.Last Date for receiving filled in admission application forms from Foreign / NRI candidates12th January, 2012

The Institutes, which offer courses in Master Program in Health Care, hospital administration & management are :

  • M.S. Hospital Administration & Management, a joint venture by KMCH, Tamilnadu, India and St. Joseph University, Philadelphia, USA.
  • M.Sc., Hospital Administration, Dr.N.G.P Arts and Science College, Coimbatore – 35 and Tiruppur Kumaran College for Women, Tiruppur, affiliated to Bharathiar University, Coimbatore – 641 046.
  • MBA in Hospital Administration, Madurai Kamaraj University, Madurai, Tamilnadu.
  • M.Sc., Health Care and Hospital Administration, Bharathidasan University, Tiruchirappalli, Tamilnadu. (the above lists are indicative).
  • MBA Health Management, Sri Ramachandra Medical College, Chennai.

The students, who make a good blend of these two professions namely medical tourism and hospital administration, have better openings in their career.

In addition to the degree, they must be aware of the topography of the country and also hospitals, which offer medical procedures for overseas patients. The patients from other nation find it difficult and tiresome to seek proper guidance in a foreign country. To ease this, the travel agency can act as a facilitator between patients / visitors and various hospitals supporting various options available based on the required treatment and other services.

Hospitals that offer treatment for foreign patients can tie up with the travel agencies. Hospitals can also employ an individual who has graduated in tourism and travel management. The role of the tourist, in addition to their routine work as a guide to excursion areas, they can also guide the patients from abroad in choosing the best hospital, which can offer a good care and treatment to the disease concerned.

Conclusion

With increased activity to build hospitals in the corporate sector, foreign patients arrival is expected to rise significantly.

Things are going to change drastically in favor of India, especially medical professionals and travel agencies backed by the fast improving equipment and nursing facilities, and above all, the cost effectiveness of the package.

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Medical Tourism Colleges and Courses

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