Medical Tourism in Visakhapatnam by People of South Odisha

Medical Tourism in Visakhapatnam by People of South Odisha

Sachin Kumar Behera (North-Eastern Hill University, Shilong, India)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 16
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-9787-2.ch006


Vishakhapatnam is a coastal city of Andhra Pradesh, one of the commercial hubs of Andhra Pradesh and very near to the south part of Odisha. The city has many super specialty hospitals and is home to various tourist destinations. People of Southern Odisha do not have good medical facilities always rush to Visakhapatnam for even small treatments. Southern Odisha comprises of the following districts: Gajapati, Rayagada, Koraput, Nabrangpur, Malkangiri, and Ganjam. These districts are still deprived of basic medical facilities, and traveling to Visakhapatnam is more suitable than to the capital of Odisha (Bhubaneswar) due to distance. The methodology of this chapter is based on secondary sources such as a published book, journals, reports, articles, newspapers, and online sources. In this chapter, a descriptive method is employed. Primary data was collected from the people staying in various hospitals in Vishakhapatnam for medical purposes.
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India is home to the first plastic surgeon of 600 B.C – Sushruta and he is also considered the father of surgery. India is the land of Yoga which now a tourism product in terms of wellness tourism. Medical tourism has recently grown in India to a large extent. Medical tourism is basically an economic activity based on integration of two sectors i.e. medical and tourism. (Han & Hyun, 2015), patients seeking medical care are willing to travel from developed countries such as Australia, United Kingdom and USA to developing countries such as Costa Rica, India and Thailand for medical treatment and Thailand, Singapore and India have the highest share of medical tourism market in Asia (Yeoh, Othman, & Ahmad, 2013). India has emerged as a major Medical Tourism destination. While Ministry of Tourism does not maintain any data regarding the growth of India’s medical tourism vis a vis other countries, Ministry of Commerce informs that as per a The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry - Intercontinental Marketing Services (FICCI-IMS) Knowledge Paper titled, ‘Medical Value travel in India: Enhancing value in MVT’, published in 2016, India is amongst the top 6 MVT (Medical Value Travel) destinations of the world which include Thailand, Singapore, India, Malaysia, Taiwan and Mexico (India ranked third in the world in 2015). The Niti Aayog has identified medical value travel (MVT) as a major source of foreign exchange earnings. India currently has around 18% of the global medical tourism market. Its medical value travel (MVT) was pegged at $3 billion in 2015, and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 15%, according to a report by FICCI and IMS Health. It has been estimated that by 2020, India’s medical tourism industry could be worth $9 billion, and account for 20% of the global market share. The report also pointed out that in curative care, India was the preferred destination for cardiology, orthopedics, transplants, and ophthalmology. High credibility in wellness, preventive, and alternative medicine was also attributed to India.

The domestic medical tourism market has also seen a boom but a very little research has been done so far. Government of India has realized the potential of medical tourism in India and appropriate polices have been made so far but very few policies are made focusing the domestic medical tourism. People of those states which have poor medical infrastructure are bound to travel to neighbor states for medical and tourism purpose. Although there is no focused policy by central government for domestic medical tourism, most states also do not have any policy.

Figure 1.


Process of Medical Tourism

Figure 2.

(Adapted from FICCI and IMS Health Report)

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