Chennai, the evolving medical destination

Apollo Hospital , Greams Road, Chennai | Sonam Choki

Sonam Choki

Chennai, Feb 28: The city is increasingly becoming a center of medical tourism with inbound tourists both from abroad and from different States.

According to a study by Confederation of Indian Industries(CII), Chennai draws in about 40 percent of the nation’s medical tourists and receives about 150 foreign patients every day. The inflow of medical tourists increased by 23 percent and Chennai is continuing to be the favorite medical destination among foreigners.

People mostly from Bangladesh, Iraq, Nigeria, and Oman come here for treatment for several ailments such as cancer, cardiac surgery, diabetes, spine surgery, urology, nephrology, as well as medical check-ups.

According to the Export of Health services survey conducted by the Director-General of Commercial in Intelligence and Statistics of India, from fiscal year 2017 to 2018, India saw 4, 60,000 inbound patients at its different hospitals. The largest group of foreign medical tourists was from Bangladesh, around 1, 65,000.

Devtosh Ghosh (26), a man from Bangladesh who came with his ailing mother at Apollo Hospital said, “My mother was suffering from cardiovascular disease. We consulted lot of doctors who said that there was no treatment for this disease. Thus, this made us to come here. After getting treatment here, she is now in a better condition with significant improvement in her health.”

Maruf Elahi (49), also from Bangladesh, who came here recently with his wife said, “My wife is suffering from skin cancer. I heard that Apollo Hospital gives best treatment and I came with the full hope that my wife will be cured.”

Moudud Ahmed (55) from Iraq who will be soon undergo kidney transplant said, “I am now ready to undergo transplant as I trust the hospital because one of my friends also got treatment from here and this builds my confidence.”

He said that staff here takes good care of patients unlike his country.

Ms. Jhansi Lakshmi, General Manager of Apollo Hospital at Greams Road said, “Every month we receive around 40 to 50 foreign patients. Patients mainly come here for organ transplant and various cardiac and neurosurgery treatments.”

Beside overseas patients, a lot of native people also come for treatment in the city. While some come here on doctors’ advice and most of the people come due to low cost surgery, qualified and experienced specialist and good quality nursing care.

Bipin Sharma from Lucknow came here at Apollo for cataract operation said, “You will never feel cheated here. In my area they take a lot of money but fail to give proper treatment.”

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