Sunday, March 27, 2005

"It looks like a hospital": Medical Tourism in India

Medical tourism, on NPR. A growing number of Europeans are going to India to get medical treatment, including advanced surgery. This story has a Canadian man who needed a knee replacement, but was told that it would take a year before the operation could be performed in Canada. He was able to fly to India, have the operation done, and stay for 21 days in the hospital, all for $8000. He used Apollo Hospitals, which is aggressively marketing itself for just this sort of thing. But apparently India doesn't have a licensing system for this type of private hospital (is that really true?), and only a a small number of European and North American insurance companies currently recognize them.

The story suggests that India could generate revenues of $2 Billion USD this way by 2012. But again, it will only happen if the government invests in certain infrastructure improvements; one potential patient (this could be apocryphal) was so horrified by what he saw between the airport and the hospital that he decided not to get treatment in India after all.

They are also talking about a special line at the Immigration counter for people getting medical treatment, as they have in Thailand.


Dr. I-Net said...

Medical Tourism

Dr. I-Net is a new and exciting concept designed as an alternative to Exorbitant U.S. Healthcare Costs.

"SURGERY ABROAD" up to 80% for the exact same procedure performed at world-class medical facilities staffed with board certified surgeons using state-of-the-art equipment. When considering a medical surgery outside of the U.S., don’t go through the process alone. You should seek assistance from a professional organization that specializes in facilitating medical tourists. You will have the opportunity to utilize our years of research and due diligence to choose a surgeon in the destination of your preference. We have established relationships with many surgeons and hospitals, in multiple destinations; so, you are able to choose from an extensive list that best suits your personal needs. To begin, let’s address this question… …Is Medical Tourism For You?

Are you affected by the exorbitant healthcare costs in the U.S.? If so, we’ve have a great news for you! If you are among the 45 million Americans without medical insurance; One of the 250 million people with insurance, but, have restricted coverage due to pre-existing conditions; or One of the potential 300 million Americans seeking elective cosmetic or dental surgery; …then, you’ll be amazed at the value of traveling abroad to combine your healthcare needs and travel desires.

"Medicine is riddled with inefficiencies, outrageous costs, and outmoded technology...Already, health care accounts for 14% of the nation's gross domestic, product, and that's expected to climb to nearly 20% by 2005." -Businessweek December 2000

Imagine traveling to these exotic locations, in complete anonymity… With Dr. I-Net as medical advisor… …you’ll have your procedure performed by some of the best surgeons, at world-class medical facilities, with state-of-the-art equipment. Then, you’ll recuperate in a beautiful, serene setting, with peace and quite. As an added benefit, you may also choose to enjoy the interesting attractions your destination offers. You will receive all this for a fraction of the cost of the medical procedure alone in the U.S. Make this vision a reality by selecting Dr. I-Net as your medical tourism service agent. We do all the pre-operative and post operative work for you. Through our due diligence process, with your records in our database we’ve traveled to these locations to carefully inspect, verify and select our business associates and their facilities. Only the best surgeons, hospitals, hotels and destination program managers have met our stringent criteria and have been chosen to participate in this program.

Where do the cost savings come from? How come these hospitals offshore can offer these services at much lower prices? The answer lies in the economics of healthcare in the United States and the amount of fraud and waste that is present in the U.S. healthcare system. Many workers in the health care industry are basically getting paid to shuffle paper around. The health insurance companies are paid to deny health claims and the government workers at Medicare and Medicaid offices are paid to find new ways to deny payments to doctors and hospitals for services rendered. Thus, doctors' offices and hospitals have to employ entire staff to sit around and reclassify procedures in ways that can get paid by insurance companies, Medicare and Medicaid. It's a massive waste of time, money and effort.

In our healthcare system, it's a paperwork nightmare. All of this is a result of health insurance, both taxpayer-funded health insurance and private health insurance. In other words, things would be a lot simpler if people just price-shopped some of these procedures and paid out of their own pocket, rather than having to go through a monstrous bureaucratic system of paper shufflers. As a medical tourist in another country, you eliminate these paperwork shufflers. And right there, you can save as much as 80% right off the total cost. Because now, your dollars are actually going to the surgeons, anesthesiologists and other hospital workers who are attending you during your surgical procedure. Another reason these surgical procedures are so much more affordable in Asia is because of the liability issue. In the United States, doctors and hospitals must carry extremely expensive medical malpractice insurance policies.

International Members

Dr. I-Net provides the hospitals and doctors in foreign countries to submit cases on it's International Gateway to obtain an expert opinion. In emergency situations the right medical facility can be identified and the patient can be flown in for immediate treatment. In addition, individuals in the west can approach the experts in the far east to take advantage of their complimentary medicine and other related techniques. Additionally, video conferencing technology allows those people in other countries to visually communicate with physicians in the United States.

Dr. I-Net recognizes that its success depends on delivering service that enhances the performance of our clients' organization and adds value to their service. We believe quality, cost control and convenience are the most precious assets that we can deliver.

Dr. I-Net places high premium on clearly defined goals and objectives and expects the fullest cooperation and coordination among every aspect of this business. We recognize that to achieve quality we must, from the very beginning, design quality into every individual segment of our business and every aspect of our performance.

For detailed inquiry: or

3:38 PM  
Lauren said...

I foresee a huge future for medical tourism. It is important to provide sources of information to those who are seeking medical tourism for themselves.

Here are some excellent resources for medical tourism.

CBS News did a very informative story on medical tourism in 2005:

Another great article was from the University of Delaware’s UDaily:

Time Magazine wrote an article just this year:,9171,1196429,00.html

This page answers many common questions potential medical tourists would have:


6:07 PM  
NMHInc Admin said...

Dr. Milica Bookman, an Economics Professor at St. Joseph's University, has just written a book about medical tourism, called Medical tourism In Developing Countries, which focuses on the changes in the healthcare infrastructure and the economies of developing coutries like India and Thailand, due to the inflow of health travelers.
Interview with Dr. Bookman

10:44 AM  

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