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India eyeing share in medical tourism pie

by M. Somasekhar ,  The HINDU | 2004-05-10

A NICE blend of top-class medical expertise at attractive prices is helping a growing number of Indian corporate hospitals lure foreign patients, including from developed nations such as the UK and the US.

If a liver transplant costs in the range of Rs 60 lakh-70 lakh in Europe and double that in the US, a few Indian hospitals, such as Global in Hyderabad, have the wherewithal to do it in around Rs 15 lakh-20 lakh. Similarly, if a heart surgery in the US costs about Rs 20 lakh, the Chennai-headquartered Apollo Hospitals Group does it in roughly Rs 2 lakh.

As more and more patients from Europe, the US and other affluent nations with high medicare costs look for effective options, India is pitted against Thailand, Singapore and some other Asian countries, which have good hospitals, salubrious climate and tourist destinations.

While Thailand and Singapore with their advanced medical facilities and built-in medical tourism options have been drawing foreign patients of the order of a couple of lakhs per annum, the rapidly expanding Indian corporate hospital sector has been able to get a few thousands for treatment.

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