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Medical Tourism - the new frontier to conquer

Anjali Tolani Anjali Tolani

Medical tourism in India is projected to grow to a US$9 billion industry by 2020. India is gathering a formidable reputation for its medical treatments that are cost-effective and of a high standard especially in cardiology, orthopaedics, nephrology, oncology, neuro surgery, dental surgery, etc.. Alternative treatment options are also witnessing growth and India has an array of wellness options and resorts to cater to this demand.

An increasing number of people are travelling to India to seek healthcare services on account of the following factors:

·         Medical costs are very prohibitive in some countries.

·         The waiting time for a procedure can be a hurdle for those who are in dire need of treatment.

·         Certain specific treatments may be absent in some places.

·         Health insurance is a major issue for most if it doesn’t cover the complete procedure or treatment. People with no insurance cover or a limited insurance cover find it appealing to seek treatment in countries like India.

·         Advances in medical technology and standards of healthcare are rising worldwide.

·         Not only are medical procedures economic in India as compared to many developed nations, they also allow the patrons to combine the treatment with a vacation in a country like India which has so much to offer.

India has an advantage in Medical tourism over other countries due to the following reasons:

·         Cost effectiveness: A bypass surgery in the USA may set the patient back by US$130,000. In India, the cost would be only US$10,000. It is also important to note that this difference in cost does not immediately translate into a compromise on the quality of healthcare given.

·         Superior quality of healthcare: A large number of Indian doctors working in India undergo training at renowned institutes in USA and UK. Also, several Indian healthcare institutes receive certification from international bodies like ISO, JCI and NABH.

·         Top-of-the-range equipment: There is no dearth of high-grade equipment in Indian hospitals. State-of-the-art technology and equipment can be readily found.

·         Use of English: People from all walks of life in India, speak English fluently. This is highly convenient for international travellers who are visiting for a medical reason.

Alternative medicine and wellness tourism in India are becoming equally popular. These may include: Ayurveda, Yoga & meditation, Homeopathy, Naturopathy, Pranic healing, Aromatheraphy, Reiki

 

A few options worth considering are mentioned here.

 

Carnoustie Ayurveda and wellness

 

Located in Mararikulam, Kerala, this haven of wellness was featured by Forbes as one of the ‘top 5 Wellness Retreats for Ultimate Renewal’ in 2017. This resort offers villas which encompass a blend of traditional and contemporary Kerala architecture. The villas are extremely spacious and have their own individual pools. This luxury Ayurveda resort has its own signature Carnoustie Ayurveda programmes for rejuvenation, detox, healing, anti-ageing, weight loss and yoga.

 

There is also the option of naturopathy wherein treatments are offered on the basis of 5 principles known in India from ancient times. These are called the Panchamahabhutas. They are Prithvi (earth), Aap (water), Tej (fire), Vayu (air) and Aakash (space). Treatment comprise mudbaths, mudpacks, hydrotheraphy, pranayam, sunbath, fasting therpahy etc.

 

Some of the conditions treated at this resort are allergies, arthritis, depression, joint pains, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, migraines etc.

 

Ananda Wellness Resort

 

This resort’s most esteemed guest was American media Moghul Oprah Winfrey who described her stay as ‘going to Ananda is more a pilgrimage than a visit’. The best feature of this resort is its location – in the foothills of the Himalayas in the north Indian state of Uttarakhand. The property includes the royal palace of the Maharaja of Narendranagar, an Indian princely state. It also includes a restored Viceregal palace.   The elegant guest rooms have walk-in closets and private balconies overlooking the Ganges river or the palaces.

 

The wellness programmes offered here aim to restore balance in the human body and harmonize energy in a holistic fashion. Its primary focus is Ayurveda and Yoga but it also blends certain healing principles of the East with those of the West. This destination spa is 260 kms from North Delhi.

 

The programmes are designed on the basis of individual goals like mind & body detox, fitness, weight & stress management, enhancing immunity, improving digestion, healthy ageing etc. The treatment if offered in the form of a package ranging from 3 to 21 days. The treatment level may be introduction or comprehensive or a combination of both.

 

Amchi medicine

The ancient method of Tibetan healing is known as Amchi System of Medicine and has some similarities with Ayurvedic medicine. The Amchi system is based on the principle of understanding the body and its disease in relation to the environment. People from the union territory of Ladakh have a very deep faith in Amchi healing as it is rooted in their culture.

The Amchi method of treatment has 4 elements viz. diet, behaviour, medicine and external therapy. Minor problems can be treated just by altering diet and behaviour patterns. At an intermediate level of seriousness, decoction, powder, pills, purgatives, emetics etc. may be used. At an advanced stage of a disease, external therapies like moxabustion, venesection, fomentation, massage, surgery, etc. are recommended.

The Amchi method id highly developed, scientific and natural system of treating the body. As in Ayurveda, it is based on the 5 elements of nature. The Amchi method is an integral part of Buddhist philosophy and it advocates cultivating love, empathy, joy and compassion to achieve the best of health and happiness.

Article by- Anjali Tolani, GM - Contracting and Product, Tamarind Global

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