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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Medical Tourism

Healthcare today with the  increase in sophistication and advances in medicine has become very expensive .
the developed western nations like the United States and the United Kingdoms traditionally considered as haven for good medical care has become exorbitantly overpriced ,thier training ,infrastructure and protective litigation cost has brought  them to this state ..
countries like India which has excellent medical professionals and very good state of the art institutes today can provide efficient services at a fraction of this cost ,pharmaceuticals can provide medications at much lower prices .
countries like Thailand are making rapid strides in Medical tourism because they are supported by thier Governments in a big way ,they provide good infrastructure maintain international standards and quality controls to protect thier status ,Thailand had made more than 466 billion dollars this year out of medical tourism andlsowly is turning out to be a medical tourist capital of the world instead of being a sleazy tourist country it was earlier .
Hospitals like Apollo ,Amritha ,Lakehsore ,CMCH ,AIMS chitra hospitals are all well known for thier good skills and capablities but sadly the support given by the government is poor ,healthcare policy makers have never realised the potential of medical tourism if they had they would have strived to support such institutions with good infrastructure ,and quality anxillaries .
In Kerala  medical tourism is looked at with  socialistico cynical glasses and the hospitals are accused of overpricing and being aloof for the common man !
The price of a bone marrow transplant allogenic in India today is around 20 to 25 lakhs and this package may incude stay in a good  hotel for the  family ,the same thing is more costly anywhere else with it being about 25 times as much in the US or UK ,
I know for I have referred more than 4 patients to India for this and the success rate is the same .
\A PET scan costs  around 20000 Rs in India today whereas in UAE it is about ten times that cost
I still remember  when in a meet to intorduce the machine in UAE  a question was asked why it was so fo which the salesperson had no answer while a senior INDIAN in the meet opined I wouldnt send anyone to India for a PET !!!
well we send satellites at one fraction of the cost of the US and so far none has fallen on our heads have they countered me to  loud guffaws
what Iam trying to say is we are our own enemies
our leaders dont realise our potentials and support them ,this is also the precise reason why there is brain drain in our country
The recent doctors strike in a part of Kerala after a doctor was hit by  a patients family was highlighted in the media of course it was the neglect of patients due to the strike that was highlighted and not why a doctor is not given protection from such happenings ,in medical practice things can turn awry due to many circumstances not nesascarily due to neglignece and none can work with a damocles sword of being hit any time
how can a society which disregards a profession expect them to stay
Doctors too are professionals they are not born for doing charity

Medical tourism has also enemies  from other countries who do want India to become  a such a referral centre and they spread canards on infection like the famous Delhi bug
a certain amount  of truth also exists as there is lack of public hygiene
poor quality controls also accounts for spurious drugs and poor labarotary controls
it is high time these are rectified to exploit our strenghts and make India an excellent  medical tourist referral centre ,whcih would only give us valuable foriegn exchange .

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