Unseen Passage: Medical Tourism

It’s no less than a pilgrimage for those who come to our shores for medical treatments. Medical tourism in India is on an upswing, with about 5,00,000 foreign patients travelling to India for medical care. The current worth of the industry is estimated at 1,000 crores, with a growth potential of 100 percent every year. The industry is poised to bring in as much as ` 5,000 to 10,000 crores by 2012.

Many factors contribute to the expansion of this sector, one of them being the high end facilities. ‘‘Only when we go to different countries do we realize how much better off we are in terms of infrastructure and quality. The country has the resources to be on the global map for medical tourism as it has a combination of all the right ingredients,’’ says Dr. Rajendra Prasad, senior consultancy neurosurgery.

India is also renowned for its talent pool and the doctors are known for their expertise and knowledge. Cutting edge medical technologies and drugs available are on a par with the developed world. The cost factor is another big reason for the popularity of India as the medical destination the difference being as much as 10 or 20 times.

The culture of ‘Athithi Devo Bhava’ extends into medical tourism, with quality facilities being offered by hospitals to international patients. Super speciality hospitals are successfully providing unparalleled medical treatment to patients, resulting in superior outcomes, very low risk of infections and excellent post surgery care. The whole experience can be simply termed as ‘value for money’.

Medical tourism is undoubtedly a fast growing sector. It is felt that the government is not doing enough to promote this sector. The Ministry of Tourism should pitch in a big way with more financial support to stakeholders and better infrastructure facilities. More liberal loans, tax benefits and incentives to medical service providers will go a long way in giving a boost to this industry. Promoting medical tourism would mean more employment opportunities for our people, more goodwill for the country and more dollars for the government treasury.

On the basis of your reading of the above passage answer the questions that follow:

  1. What is the status of medical tourism in India?
  2. Mention two factors which have contributed to the growth of medical tourism in India.
  3. What is most remarkable about our super speciality hospitals?
  4. What steps should the government take to give a boost to medical tourism?
  5. What is meant by the word ‘upswing’ ?
  6. What is meant by the word ‘expansion’?
  7. What is meant by the word ‘renowned’ ?
  8. What is meant by the word ‘unparalleled’?

Answer

  1. Medical tourism in India is on upswing, with about 5,00,000 foreign patients travelling to India for medical care.
  2. The factors which have contributed to the growth are:
    1. High end facilities in terms of infrastructure and quality.
    2. Enough resources to put India on the global map.
  3. Super speciality hospitals are successfully providing unparalleled medical treatment to patients, resulting in superior outcomes, very low risk of infections and excellent post surgery care.
  4. Steps government should take to give a boost to medical tourism:
    1. liberal loans
    2. Tax benefits
    3. Incentives to medical service provider
  5. growth
  6. growth
  7. famous
  8. matchless

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