January 2014

Medicash – Bridge between Medical Tourists and Hospitals

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Trends indicate that, due to sky rocketing health care costs and insurance premiums,patients from the western world have started seeking life saving treatment/surgeries in low wages countries especially India. Gopal Verma, Chairman, E-Meditek Group, interacts with Ekta Srivastava, ENN, about the role of Medicash for international patients

New England Journal of medicine calls this new breed of growing patients as Medical Refugees. They use low cost destination like India for life saving surgeries (Milstein and Smith, 2006). Thus, with established edge in surgical treatments, India is poised to play an important role in one of the worlds fastest growing industry of Medical Tourism. “

Medical Tourism in India
Today medical tourism is seems to be promoted by every country around the world. Though the reality is that in most cases they offer sub- standard facilities and limited skills or qualifications. India has tens of thousands of skilled physicians and nurse practitioners. Over the last two decades, the economic boom in India has led to the building of medical facilities & infrastructure that rival the very best then the western medical care that the west has to offer. Many of the physicians that practice in these hospitals and clinics have returned (to India) from the U.S. and Europe, leaving behind successful practices.
With Indias top rated education system churning out 20,000-30,000 doctors and nurses every year and with half a dozen world class medical cooperations serving medical tourists, the above predictions does not seem to be a distant reality, provided the stake holders initiate the right move in the right direction.

E-Meditek Global
E-Meditek Global in association with Nepal Investment Bank launched Nepals First Healthcare Pre-Paid Card today. NIBL MediCash card will be available in Nepal for a nominal price and will empower them to carryout medical expenses beyond any constrain on the limit of monetary transaction in India. Also, the medical treatment and related services would be offered at a discounted rate. The card provides for an ease, convenience and savings to the patients travelling to India for medical treatment, consultation and follow up visits. The card aims at promoting medical tourism in India.
Gopal Verma, Chairman, E-Meditek Global said, We are proud to launch Nepals first Healthcare prepaid Card in association with NIBL. This card is inspired by the concept Friend in Need is a friend in deed and works exactly in the same fashion. It is a one stop solution and provides complete assistance both medical and non-medical to Nepali visitor visiting India for medical treatment. This card not only redefines the way one saves money, but also increases convenience when one needs assistance the most: be it sickness at midnight, admission into a hospital, online search, appointment with doctors, emergency medical evacuation, access to your old medical record. Additionally, there are many other services like online support and access to critical information that is designed to suit every individual and family.
The holder of card gets access to wide range of medical and non-medical concierge services like Ambulance Service, emergency evacuation services, escort services to dependents and delivery of Medicines at discounted rates. Further, this card offers access to negotiated IPD packages, provides platform to compare the treatment cost and helps in deciding the Hospital for the treatment.
All patients travelling to India will only need to submit the treatment intimation form either online, by visiting the website www.niblmedicash.com, or visiting any of the Nepal Investment Bank Branch. On receipt of the Intimation /information, E-Meditek Global will assign a dedicated relationship manager who will be assisting the customer throughout his visits which includes complete assistance at the time of hospitalization and discharge. E-Meditek has created an integrated network of medical service providers that includes more than 5000 hospitals, 4500 diagnostic Centers and 3000 individual practitioners Pan India and avail medical benefit at discounted / negotiated rates.
NIBL Medicash card will act as a bridge for those seeking assistance while on medical visit to India. The commitment in providing quality service from our partner EMeditek Global is commendable and we are confident that the benefit our customers will reap from this NIBLMedicah Card will exceed beyond monetary value. Shortly to explore more market opportunity, EMeditek will be coming in Bangladesh , Fizi, Srilanka,including ten more countries by the end of the March.

“This card not only redefines the way one saves money, but also increases convenience when one needs assistance the most”

Challenges
For last 10years medical tourism is catching up and it can go faster provided certain eminent issues taken care of or addressed by the government, which pre-dominantly relates with the visa rules and facilitation of making the payments to the hospitals, says Emeditek, Chairman.
Further he added, currently when someone comes to India for medical treatment, they either take cash or travel cheque but most hospitals prefer cash payment. Secondly, if someone here is in medical visa and stays beyond 15-16 days, he is supposed to report the local police authority. Now, if someone is critically ill or under treatment then how will he comply with this requirement? Last, medical tourism industry is very unorganised, and does not have any transparent mechanism in place. There are touts ever where, and then some doctors in those countries which have the referral arrangement to some particular hospitals here, making the industry more vulnerable. These issues if sorted out properly will grow more confidence among the patients who wish to come here.
Speaking about the systematic workflow chairman believes that the whole engagement should start before the patient start his journey to the India. We have 24*7 support, we can set-up their appointment with the relevant doctors, we can exchange the diagnostic reports with the respective doctors, ahead of their coming to India. So that the bonafide need of the procedure is established in advance.

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