THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: World class hospitals, cost-effective treatment and ample opportunities to relax in the scenic landscape of 'God's own country' -- medical tourism promises to be the next big money spinner in Kerala, with a steady stream of overseas patients flocking to the state.
The few nationally and internationally accredited hospitals in the state are doing brisk business, with foreign nationals making a beeline for procedures like knee replacement, weight reduction surgery, liver transplant, cardiac care, ophthalmic care and dentistry.
Most of the foreign patients are from Canada, the Gulf countries, the Maldives and many are also second generation Malayalis settled in the US and Britain.
While there are no official state-wide figures, E.M. Najeeb, founder of KIMS Hospital here, says the institute treated around 40,000 overseas patients last year.
"International insurance companies look for international accreditation if they have to pay their clients, and hospitals interested to get favourable treatment from giant insurance companies have to meet international standards in providing quality healthcare," said Najeeb.