The Millennium City has seen a phenomenal boom in international patients seeking medical service. However, low cost of treatment is probably the last reason why these patients choose India over other countries.
“It is no more about costs. They come here because India provides quality service; there is talent here. The brain drain theory has reversed. Today, Indian doctors want to practice in India and not abroad," said Deepak Chawla, leader of the international team at Artemis Health Sciences.
Now, India is known not only for its IT services, but also for its medical expertise. "I have heard that the doctors and hospitals in India are very good. India has a good name in medicine in Iraq," said Abdul Sattar from Iraq's Mousil. He recently underwent a spine surgery at Artmeis Health Sciences.
Another reason contributing to the choice is the hospitals' infrastructure. "There is calibre here. You will find the best services and latest technology employed — all at a comparably lower cost than in the West, where even a basic hospital will charge them exorbitantly," said Dr Naresh Trehan of Medanta.
At least 90 per cent of these patients are from Iraq, Afghanistan, Middle Eastern and African countries.
Although there has been an increase in the number of international patients, the trend has shifted away from medical tourism. “Patients these days are not interested in touring the country. Earlier, they used to visit Taj Mahal... Now, as soon as their surgery is done, they go home. I don't know if we can call this medical tourism anymore," said Rashmi Hingorani of Columbia Asia hospital.