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Exploring Healthier Destinations with Health Explora

‘Medical Surgery’ gives people nightmares! But have you ever wondered if medical treatments could be as comforting as travelling? ‘Medical Tourism’ merges the healthcare with ticketed journeys. Travel to other countries for the purpose of receiving superior quality medical treatment facilities at affordable costs, by highly skilled doctors and you are officially a part of Medical Tourism.

People since 19th century have been travelling abroad for medical purposes. In Europe people travelled to ‘take the waters’ believed to possess health benefits. According to a report by FICCI, today about 11 million people travel annually to seek care abroad which is only 1% of the estimated global tourist volume of 1 billion. A report by KPMG on Medical Tourism estimates that global medical tourism industry will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 17.9% in 2013–2019.

Today Medical Tourism comprises of two segments- one where patients travel to rejuvenate themselves for luxury purposes, and then there is the other, patients lacking quality health care in their home countries.

Popular destinations for medical purposes have been- Asia, South Africa, South and Central America, the Middle East, and parts of Western, Scandinavian, Central and Southern Europe, Mediterranean. These destinations offer a range of treatments for prospective medical tourists including: Cosmetic Surgery, Dentistry, Cardiology, Orthopaedic surgery, Bariatric surgery, Fertility/reproductive system and the like.

Extending on the tradition, people from developed countries often travel to the developing countries for cheaper treatments owing to cheap flights and low cost of treatment. Medical tourism aids both the governments and the private sector of the developing nations and hence has been promoted to earn revenues. For the country it is a source of forex earning, a boost to the country’s image, and acts as a growth driver for various sectors like tourism, hospitality, logistics, and aviation, for the recipient country.

Since decades- yoga, meditation, ayurveda, allopathy and other traditional methods of treatment have attracted medical tourists from European nations and Middle East towards India. Indian healthcare sector, one of the fastest growing industries, is expected to advance at a CAGR of 22% during 2016–2022 to reach US$372 billion by 2022 says a report by IBEF.

And hence, there is an immense scope for enhancing healthcare services penetration in India, thus presenting ample opportunity for development of the healthcare industry. India has had an advantage over its peers in the West and Asia. High quality medical services offered along with large pool of trained professionals available with 21 Joint Commission International (JCI) accredited hospitals in India has strengthened its position as a preferred destination for medical tourism.

Treatment for major surgeries in India costs substantially less than in developed countries. India also attracts medical tourists from developing nations due to a lack of advanced medical facilities in many of these countries. In the past India has attracted patients from neighbouring countries such as SAARC, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nepal etc.

Despite it being a boon, it’s been observed that patients face several problems related to language, food, high cost of transportation and medicine. Patients also majorly face concerns with respect to ease and cost of visa, complaint resolution, accreditation for providers, facilitators, specialities, safety, hospitality, language barrier etc, quality of care in terms of recovery, price of procedures, treatments availed and many more.

In order to reduce the pain points of patients — Health Explora founded by Apurva Sule, an IIMA alumni along with Manali Bagawade, aids in finding the right patient-doctor fit. It provides end to end services to make medical travel smooth and hassle free and all of it at an affordable cost!

Health Explora helps patients find the right doctor and hospital. They act as their communication bridge, connecting the customer to the medical professional. Health Explora provides end to end customer service, making it a seamless experience for the patient. Currently they have associations and partnerships with more than 200 highly recognized and internationally graded hospitals and wellness providers.

Increase in number of hospitals has fuelled the growth of private sector and In-Patient market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 13% from 2015–2020. Medical Value Travel can be a 9 billion USD opportunity by 2020 through adequate focus and effective execution and hence Health Explora is here to stay and transform medical treatments into a comforting experience.

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