The term medical tourism is used in common parlance to describe the phenomenon of foreign patients seeking healthcare in another country at better equipped hospitals and/or at rates comparatively cheaper than in their home countries. India has been a destination country for some time. For example, the Chennai-based Apollo group of hospitals was one of the first to receive international patients, mainly people from the United Kingdom seeking cataract surgery in the early 1990s at a time when the British healthcare sector was under pressure because of funding and staff constraints. The inflow from the UK was followed by individuals from other European countries, the United States, Middle East, South East Asia, and later from the African continent. A particularly strong demand comes from the 20 million strong Indian diaspora scattered across the globe.
This chapter deals with medical tourism from Africa, specifically from Kenya and Tanzania, to Indian hospitals particularly in the city of Mumbai. It also comments on the growing relationship emerging between private healthcare providers in India and East Africa, as well as Indian government support for health initiatives. We can understand this evolving industry in the current context of globalisation and liberalisation, which has impacted on all the sectors of the Indian economy.
India is emerging as a global healthcare provider because of its ability to offer world-class expertise at developing world costs. There has been a proliferation of new healthcare facilities at private centres of medical excellence in Mumbai specifically. Highclass medical infrastructure facilities, coupled with improved and cheaper air connections and easy access to visa facilities, are some of the factors that have contributed to the emerging scenario.
- Publication year: 2011
- Content type: Report
- Form of cooperation: technical assistance, humanitarian assistance.
- Cooperation context: Bilateral
- Sector: Health, Infrastructure
- Institution (publication): Overseas Development Institute
- Author (and co-authors): Renu Modi, Volume edited by Emma Mawdsley and Gerard Mccain
- Keywords: India, Africa, India-Africa, Healthcare, Medical Tourism
- Link: Offshore healthcare management: medical tourism between Kenya, Tanzania and India