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India to earn INR 8000 cr through medical tourism

Easy access to visa facilities permitted by India to overseas patients coupled with the best emerging medical infrastructure in large and tertiary towns will make the country earn to an extent of INR 8,000 crore in foreign exchange by 2012, a new study has said. Currently, the earnings accrued through medical tourism annually are estimated at INR 3,500 crore. A comparison of the medical treatment costs of various countries shows that a procedure like bone marrow transplant costs US$ 2,00,000 in USA, upto US$ 2,00,000 in UK, USD 62,500 in Thailand and just around USD 20,000 in India. Similarly, a by-pass surgery would cost USD 15,000-20,000 in USA, around USD 20,000 in UK, USD 14,250 in Thailand and USD 4,000-6,000 in India. The costs for a knee surgery in these countries are USD 16,000-17,000, 15,000, 7,000 and 1,000 respectively, the study conducted by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) on Prospects of Medical Tourism for Higher Forex Earning said. As a result of higher and very expensive medical costs in the western countries, patients from economies of scale including Africa, Gulf and various Asian countries have started exploring medical treatment in hospitals located in various well-to do places in India, Director of Gangaram hospital and one of the lead authors of the study said.

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