Wednesday, November 07, 2007

The Economics behind Medical Tourism

People in developed countries pay very high costs for medical treatments when compared to developing countries like India for the same or similar treatment. India has state of the art hospitals, medical facilities, clinics and a large pool of doctors. It is estimated that sometimes similar treatments done in India can cost as little as 10% of the value of that treatment if done in a developed country like the USA. India also offers alternative healing techniques like Ayurveda, Accupuncture at very low costs. It also offers a large number of yoga and rehabilitation centers. Given the current US administration's foreign policy, India is one of the few countries whose people have a favorable view of America and Americans. So an individual in the US can make a trip to India, experience its culture, get treated, rehabilitate, sight see and return back home at almost a fraction of the cost.

This phenomenon is a win-win situation for both the Americans and Indians. With the aging baby boomer population in the USA, high medical expenses in conjunction with a corporate cutting of medical aid after retirement, India proves to be a favorable destination to get treated at a lower cost while also having a vacation. To tap into the medical tourism market many US hospitals chains are opening up subsidiaries in India. As market forces are in play in this industry, existing hospitals and clinics in India are improving quality standards and customer service. At the same time, rising Indian incomes is enabling Indians to avail the same quality services in health care.

Outsourcing of medical services will put downward pressure on medical service prices in the US. As the trend of medical tourism grows, I hope to see some of the astronomical prices of medical services in the US come down to more sustainable levels. Of course, medical tourism alone will not be able to bring down medical prices in the US considerably. A lot would need to be done at the policy level in the government to help bring down prices.

All in all, this is another benefit of globalization where everyone benefits.


Medical tourism Turkey said...

Bosporus and hospitals in Turkey has become a choice medical care destination for patients, medical tourists coming from European countries such as Holland, England, Russia, Germany, Ukraine, Poland, Romania, Bulgaria and other Eastern and Western European countries.

Pulsar Maniac said...

Benefits of Medical Tourism

There is a lot of bernifits in Medical tourism field. The cost of a specialized surgery in a developing country like India is only one-tenth of the cost in developed countries like UK, USA or other European countries. People travel from their home land to other countries for getting better medical treatments. It is not surprising then that medical tourism has become a recognised and respectable practice not just in India but in many other countries as well.