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Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Career in Medical tourism
The medical tourism sector has huge potential, and is waiting to be tapped
According to a study by McKinsey and the Confederation ofIndian Industry (CII), medical tourism in India could become a $1 billion business by 2012.The government predicts that India's $17-billion-ayear health-care industry could grow 15% in each of the next six years, aided by medical tourism, which is growing at 30% annually.
India's healthcare sector is on the road to global recognition. A growing number of corporate hospitals are on the threshold of a boom in medical tourism, positioning themselves as the best destinations for procedures ranging from coronary by-passes to orthopedic surgery at most affordable costs. These hospitals offer high quality care for patients from abroad, whose numbers are reportedly rising 15% annually.
Many opt to undergo surgery in India for reasons that range from long waiting times in UK, high costs, lack of insurance cover in the US to lack of expertise in many Asian, African and west Asian countries. Allopathic treatment system in India can offer treatment in specialties such as cardiac, liver, renal and orthopaedic procedures, while Indian systems and medicine could attract patients from even the developed world to treat 'lifestyle diseases' such as stress and rheumatism.
Medical tourism can be broadly defined as provision of cost effective and quality private medical care in collaboration with the tourism industry for patients needing surgical and other forms of specialised treatment. This process is being facilitated by the corporate sector involved in medical care as well as the tourism industry --- both private and public. India along with other Asian countries like Thailand, Singapore is emerging as a healthcare destination for foreigners from developed countries, thus creating huge job opportunities.
The key 'selling points' of the medical tourism industry are its cost effectiveness with quality healthcare services and its combination with the attractions of tourism.
Price advantage is, of course, a major selling point. The slogan, thus is, 'First World treatment at Third World prices.'
Here, I would like to differentiate between medical tourism and medical value travel. Some people come to India with tourism as primary objective in mind and as an addition they undertake procedures like dental treatment, stress reduction, cosmetic work among others, which is medical tourism.
Another substantial number is now coming for major surgical interventions like cardiac procedures, knee, spine and hip operations, kidney transplant among others. After these procedures, they may undertake tourism as an extended period of stay while being under medical observation. This is now termed as medical value travel as it is planned with medical treatment as major objective. Both sectors have immense potential and with increasing number of tourists/patients coming to India, job opportunities galore.
Students, who make a good blend of medical tourism and hospital administration, have better openings in their career. In addition to the degree, they must be aware of the topography of the country and also hospitals, which offer medical procedures for overseas patients.
A degree from any of these colleges is good enough for freshers to look forward to work in the medical tourism sector. Institutes offering courses in MBA in travel & tourism include:
• Indian Institute of Tourism and Travel Management, New Delhi
• Pondicherry University, Puducherry
• Anand Institute of Management Science (AIMS), Gujarat
• Kerala Institute of Tourism and Travel Studies (KITTS), Thiruvananthapuram
• Indian Institute of Tourism and Travel Management, Gwalior
• Skyline Institute of Travel and Tourism, New Delhi
Institutes offering courses in Master's programme in health care, hospital administration and management include:
• MS Hospital Administration and Management, a joint venture by KMCH, Tamil Nadu, India and St Joseph University, Philadelphia, US
• MSc Hospital Administration, Dr NGP Arts and Science College, Coimbatore
• Tiruppur Kumaran College for Women, Tiruppur, affiliated to Bharathiar University, Coimbatore
• MBA in hospital administration, Madurai Kamaraj University, Madurai, Tamil Nadu
• MSc Health care and Hospital Administration, Bharathidasan University, Tiruchirappalli, Tamil Nadu
• MBA Health Management, Sri Ramachandra Medical College, Chennai
Since this is a new area of employment, not many qualified and experienced people are available and the promotion prospects are also bright and rapid. After a few years of experience, one can also start their own business by handling all travel requirements of a client and gradually building up business, taking on additional employees. The sector potential is huge and still largely untapped. Career opportunities exist both in the public and private sector.
With increased activity to build hospitals in the corporate sector, foreign patients' arrival is expected to rise significantly. Things are going to change drastically in favour of India, especially medical professionals and travel agencies backed by the fast improving equipment and nursing facilities, and above all availability of highly trained doctors and the cost-effectiveness of the package.