Is IVF Proving To Be A Boost To Medical Tourism Industry?
Medical tourism is the travel undertaken in the pursuit of health. Patients, usually from developed nations travel to other countries e.g. India, which offer cheaper healthcare facilities. As for other branches the IVF industry of India caters to patients from varied nationalities who come to our shores seeking the gift of a baby.
Today, India boasts of the best in equipment and infrastructure that is equal to or in certain cases even better than what the so-called first world has to offer. Our IVF units offer A-class facilities and highly accomplished doctors this is due to privatization & corporatization seen in the Indian health sector. Indian IVF units use the same instruments, technology, and equipment that are used by the best units of the west. Success rates of IVF treatments in India are on par with the developed country IVF units.
Technology Playing a Major Role
Booming Indian software sector has supported a technological revolution in healthcare making it a major contributor majorly to our fast-growing economy.India is home to many pharmaceutical companies both foreign and Indian, hence most cutting edge technology is now available to us simultaneously with the developed world.
India’s main USP is that we offer excellent economically priced treatments. The cost of treatment, travel, stay plus vacation all put together in India will be 40-60% cheaper than just treatment in the western world. For example, a standard IVF cycle in the USA can cost up to 20,000 USD, in India this will cost 2,500 to 4000 USD. The saving as you can see from just this one example, is tremendous. India can offer cheaper treatments because we are at a different stage economically and the higher overheads of medical indemnity insurance is much lower in our country as opposed to say UK or USA. Also, operating costs for an IVF unit are lower in India than in the developed world. So, the medical fees payable by the patient is much lower in India.
Emerging as a Major Contributor
Indian doctors are considered among the best in the world and their expertise is well-accepted world over. India is considered to be a major contributor to the world-class intellectual research pool. Indeed 10 % of doctors in the USA are India trained and there are 29000 Indian doctors in the UK NHS. Indian visas – medical visas are fairly easy to obtain. Many IVF units in India offer online consultations even before the actual treatment visit taking the anxiety of the unknown away for the patient. There is no language barrier for the western patient in India as English is the business language of the country and medical schooling in India is in English. Moreover, India is a most sought after bucket-list destination for many a vacationer, making us an ideal country for medical tourism.
All of the above make India ideally placed as a hub for IVF tourism.
By Dr. Anagha Karkhanis - Senior Gynaecologist and Infertility Specialist and Director of Cocoon Fertility.