More medical tourists from Gulf flock to India
India has become a flourishing hub for medical tourism and the growth has been attributed to 'word of mouth'.
India has been witnessing an influx of medical tourists from across the world, including the UAE and the Arab region, a doctor from the south Indian city of Chennai has said.
Dr Subash Udipi Rau, a renowned general and critical care physician with over 20 years of experience in the UK and in India, told Khaleej Times that patients from the region have been travelling to India mostly for treatments in orthopaedics, cardiac work, and some cosmetic treatments.
"A small segment of the patients also travels to India for treatment of lifestyle diseases, including bariatric surgeries, and some cardiac-related treatments including hypertension," said Dr Rau.
Though it is challenging to determine the exact number of Arab medical tourists who travel to India - Chennai, specifically - a large number of Indian expatriates travel from the UAE for a wide range of medical specialities, said Dr Rau.
The doctor said Chennai attracts about 45 per cent of health tourists from abroad and 40 per cent of domestic health tourists because of its doctors and healthcare facilities.
With 25 years of experience, Dr Rau has practised at the Venkataeswara Hospitals in Nandanam, Chennai, and he is also a consulting physician at Apollo Spectra Hospitals in Chennai.
He said that over the last 10 to 15 years, India has become a flourishing hub for medical tourism and the growth has been attributed to 'word of mouth', expertise and competitive price points.
"A large population of Indian doctors have been trained abroad and have returned to India for work. The cost of treatments in India are only one-tenth of those in the UK and the US. They are also cheaper than those in Singapore," Dr Rau said.
Natural treatments, such as Ayurveda and other ancient Indian healing practices, are also extremely popular among foreign clients.
Dr Rau is also an advisor with Dakshin Medical Tourism in Chennai, a company that works as a one-stop shop for medical treatment and prescription drugs in the city and throughout India.
"Dakshin Medical Tourism (DMT) connects our patients with the best doctors at the best hospitals for the best treatment," said Dr Rau. The DMT helps patients get the best results, based on the ailments they are suffering from. "We have a growing network of specialists who provide patients with the best treatments and results, keeping in mind the patients' budget as well.
"What we do is called 'concierge medicine', and what is unique is that our model is based on the niche information that only an insider has. That is, the reputation of doctors among peers, infection risks of hospitals, etc, rather than being purely based on commercial interests."
The DMT has four levels of services, which are diagnostics, specialist referral, hospitality and tourism.
"We will get as many opinions as required and guide our clients in making fully informed decisions regarding the treatments offered," said Dr Rau.
The DMT provides specialists for orthopaedics and spine surgery, urology and andrology, cardiac surgery, ENT surgery, transplantation surgery, oncology and oncosurgery, and ophthalmology, among other services.
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