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Medical Tourism
Medical Tourism
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Travel agents to be facilitators in
medical tourism IN INDIA
Travel agents play an important role in medical tourism.
© Manipal Hospitals
IRENE SUSAN EAPEN
© Columbia Asia Hospitals
Renu Varghese, General Manage
Ramada Encore Bangalore Domlur
Singapore and Bangalore offers the best quality of hospitals
and the success rate in medical tourism is very high.
I
Vinay KauL
Vice President
Sales and Marketing
Columbia Asia Hospital
The international medical
tourists contributes 10-12% of
revenue andin-house team
assists the patient through all
formalities and services.
Voyager’s World > October 2014
ndia is one of the medical tourism
destinations in Asia with cost effective quality treatments, the number of
specialists for various treatments that
includes Ayurveda and Yoga. According to the FICCI-KPMG Report 2014
on Medical Value Travel, the Indian
medical tourism market is expected
to expand at a CAGR of 27 per cent
to reach USD3.9 billion in 2014, from
USD1.9 billion in 2011 with inflow of
medical tourists expected to cross
320 million by 2015 compared to 85
million in 2012.
The percentage of occupancy of
medical tourists in hospitals and hotels have been increasing especially
in large hospitals like Apollo, Fortis,
Columbia Asia Hospital and, Manipal
Health Enterprises, India. The average stays of the medical tourists are
generally on the treatments one has
to undergo for 2-3 weeks while the
stay can be extended to months. Although the travel agents are well connected and are an important part of
medical tourism. The travel agents
specializing in medical tourism are
sometimes medical facilitators and
also work closely with hospitals and
hotels.
Hospitals
Percentage of Medical tourists
Vinay Kaul, VP. Sales and Marketing,
Columbia Asia Hospital says the international patient business contributes
10-12% of revenue at Columbia Asia
Hospitals.
Benny Charles Daniel Head, International Business, Manipal Health
Enterprises, India states that people
travelling from other countries with
the primary purpose of medical tourism are considered to be 1%. The
medical tourists and people travelling from other countries with primary
purpose of medical treatment are 2022%.
Average Stay
Vinay explains that the average length
of the patients stay depends on the
cases and also on the severity of the
medical problem. However, the average length of stay is 10 days that includes post-discharge stay. We have
many patients for renal and liver
transplantations, for such cases the
approximate stay are 8 weeks at our
hospitals.
Benny says that an average duration
of stay is 9 days and the number of
persons per family per room while
staying for treatments are Africa – 2,
Middle East – 3, South East Asia – 2
and Oceania – 2.
Vinay said that we work with medical
tourism companies who may recommend their clients for medical treatment at our hospitals. We have an
in-house team that assists the patient
and their companion through all formalities and services. The services include the pick-up of the patient from
the airport, treatment, post discharge
arrangements, visa extensions, FRRO
formalities and departure etc.
“Manipal Hospitals is tied up with various accommodation options like luxury hotels, service apartments, guest
houses, etc at preferential rates that
we share with the patients for their
convenience, we assist the patients in
bookings as well as per their require-
ments,” added Benny.
Top five countries
Vinay said: We receive patients from
Africa, Middle East, SAARC region and
have also treated many patients from
the US, UK and Australia.
In the opinion of Benny the top five
countries in medical tourism are Iraq,
Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania and Oman
Special fares at Hospitals
Vinay says that we have created special packages at our hospitals for
various treatment options like the
special privileges for our International
patients that include complimentary
airport transfers and facilitation services, preference booking for hospitals rooms and guest house, in-room
WIFI/ Internet access, hassle-free
in-room in-patient registration to
avoid waiting at the time of admission, frequent medical updates and
video calls to family and friends back
home, on patient’s written consent
and request, language interpretation
services, made to order cuisine, the
cashless insurance facility with all the
leading international insurance companies like BUPA International, Vanbreda, BCBS, Aetna, Axa Assistance,
Cigna, etc. The convenient payment
gateways, special discounted rates
for pre-admission and post discharge
stay at hospitals designated for guest
house/hotel as per preference and
budget.
Benny explains the special fares towards accommodation options are
food & beverage and translators, complementary services and for pre arrival. The Manipal Hospital International
Patient Care center can assist one
with cost approximations, information
about out hospital, doctor’s opinion
on treatment plan and the proposed
duration of stay for any medical conditions. For visa assistance the Manipal International Patient care can assist the medical tourists with required
documents from the hospital end to
apply for the medical visa. The case
coordinator can assist the medical
tourists to schedule appointment with
doctor in Manipal Hospital, prior to
their arrival.
“The Manipal International Patient
Care has a series of hotels/ serviced
apartments / guest houses / 5 star
hotels on their preferred network to
ensure that the patients and their relatives have a pleasant experience. The
Manipal International Patient Care
can arrange for the airport pickup facility (Either an ambulance / ICU Ambulance or a private vehicle) based on
the patient’s medical condition as per
the date of arrival. The Manipal International Patient Care has over 40 International insurance companies that
can facilitate the International patient
team with insurance so as to facilitate
cash less treatment and offers language assistance services for over 30
languages,” he added.
Hotels
Occupancy of Medical Tourists
Vineet Arora, Executive Vice President
– Marketing & Sales ,Treehouse Hotels states that the Treehouse Queens
Pearl, Business Hotel is located a
very good proximity to hospitals in
Gurgaon which is 2 Kms from the
world renowned Medanta Medicity
and 6 kms from Artemis Hospital with
www.voyagersworld.in
Medical Tourism
Medical Tourism
37>>
© Manipal Hospitals
© Columbia Asia Hospitals
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Vineet Arora, Executive Vice President – Marketing & Sales, Treehouse Hotels
C.K.Baljee, M.D Royal Orchid Hotels
The Treehouse Queens Pearl, Business Hotel offers good proximity
to hospitals in Gurgaon with about 15-17% of average occupancy from
the medical tourism sector.
The average percntage of medical tourism is 5% to 8% and the
average duration of stay spans a week to 15 days.
about 15-17% of average occupancy
from the medical tourism sector.
C.K.Baljee, Managing Director, Royal
Orchid Hotels says the average occupancy is between 5% to 8% of medical
tourists.
In the opinion of Vinesh Gupta, General Manager, Moevenpick Hotel and
Spa Bangalore, India is one amongst
3 leading destinations for medical
tourism in Asia. We have approximately 2-3% of our total occupancy
from medical tourism with Bangalore
emerging as one of the preferred cities for medical care in the country.
Renu Varghese, General Manager,
Ramada Encore Bangalore Domlur
stated that we have 10% of our occupancy from Manipal and HCG hospitals.
Arya Srini Rao, General Manager,
Sterlings Mac Hotel says we have currently occupancy of around 15% of
the guests while accompanying partners, relatives or friends who stay in
the property.
Duration of stay
Vineet says that the minimum stay of
guests taking treatments from Hospitals in Gurgaon stay one week with 2
to 3 members of the family who generally stay in each room.
Arya Srini Rao,General Manager,The Sterling Mac Hotel
The occupancy of medical tourism is around 15%, the average stay a
week and a double occupancy per family.
Voyager’s World > October 2014
The average duration of stay spans
between a week to 15 days or more,”
added C.K.Baljee
In the opinion of Vinesh the average
length of stay is 5 nights and above,
however this varies as per nature of
treatment.
Arya said: The average stay of the
guests are for a week and generally
on double occupancy per family and
depends on the treatment.
Renu states that Ramada Encore
Bangalore is extremely hygienic and
known for cleanliness. We also have
special services for medical tourists
specified by the hospitals. We have
had tourists coming from HCG Hospital
for surgery and Manipal hospitals for
aliments like cancer. The medical tourists are from Middle East and South Africa, the family stays for 3 to 4 months.
“We get the bookings directly from
the representatives from the hospitals and not sourced bookings from
travel agents specializing in Medical
Tourism, although we are definitely
open in exploring this option,” added
Vineet. Baljee says that we work very
closely with hospitals.
Travel Agents role in Medical
Tourism
Vinesh explains that we recognise the
role of travel agents and travel desk
implants play in ensuring tourists who
travel for treatment have a fruitful trip
and a seamless experience. We have
extended special long staying guest
packages designed specifically for
this purpose which extends value add
benefits such as lowest available rate
for room, airport transfers etc. We believe the travel partners work with hotels to extend a seamless experience
and genuine care of tourists, hence
the primary focus remains value pricing that provides personalized care
and efficient service.
Arya says that we have tied up with a
couple of agents who deal with medical tourism to get these clients and
pay commission for the bookings.
Renu said that we have been working
with a couple of travel agents in Dubai
and are also in direct contact with the
Vinesh Gupta, General Manager, Moevenpick Hotel and Spa Bangalore
India is one amongst 3 leading destinations for Medical tourism in Asia,
Bangalore emerges as one of the preferred cities for medical care in the
country. The role of travel agents and travel desk ensures medical tourists
a fruitful trip and a seamless experience.
www.voyagersworld.in
Medical Tourism
38>>
Benny Charles
Daniel
Head International
Business,Manipal
Health Enterprises,
India
People travelling from other
countries with the primary
purpose of tourism are considered to be 1%. The medical tourists travelling from
other countries with primary
purpose of medical treatment are 20-22%.
PRO’s of hospitals as per the proximity and the quality of the hotel.
Top five countries
Our tourists who take treatments at
hospitals in Gurgaon are majorly from
Afghanistan, Nigeria, Uzbekistan &
Kenya, said Vineet.
We have medical tourists coming from
Africa, Dubai, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh
and Pakistan, added Baljee.
Vinesh says that we have noticed a
trend that majority of travellers come
from Middle East and United Kingdom.
Arya states that the Middle East is the
major clientele for our hotel(Dubai,
Qatar, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Saudi Arabia etc and at times we have some
guests from European Union.
Renu explains that Singapore and
Bangalore has the best quality of hospitals. The success rate in medical
tourism is very high.
Special fares or benefits
Vineet says, we have a special rate
plan for Medical tourisms and also offer complimentary pickup & drop from
and to the hospital. Our chefs are also
trained to serve special food according to their need or preferences.
We have special care of guests for
medical treatment with diet menu
recommended by doctor and also
have rooms for the special people,
“added Baljee.
Vinesh said that we customize stay
requirements taking into account
specific dietary requirements, special rates for local transfers, extended checkout timings, special bed
arrangements, planning housekeeping services as per guest’s routine
etc.
Arya states that we offer special
packages to the accompanying family and relatives such as the meal
plan will breakfast & dinner, half day
sightseeing packages, special offer
on Salon and Spa facilities etc.
Renu explains that Ramada offers special diets for medical tourists and user friendly rooms, special assistance, single diet for all
services. We have a 24 hr car in
standby mode in case of any emergency throughout the year. Medical
tourism doesn’t have a season as
there is no Sunday and Saturday
scenario.
Occupancy of tourists
According to the FICCI-KPMG Report 2014
on Medical Value Travel, the Global Medical
Value Tourism (‘MVT’) is a USD 10.5 billion
industry, rising at a CAGR of 17.9% and estimated to grow to USD 32.5 billion over the
next 5 years. However, in-spite of inherent
comparative and competitive strengths, India attracts less than 3 percent of medical
tourism traffic.
“The travel agents coordinate with various hospitals for the treatment and
with various hotels for a comfortable and affordable stay of the medical tourists for post-operative care in any country. The travel agents are engaged in
seamlessly managing the medical travelers’ treatment experience in hospitals and additionally offering sight-seeing and local travel arrangements for
the patient, apart from the flight arrangements. The role could further extend to arranging doctor consultations, surgery appointments, and securely
transferring medical reports like X-rays, MRIs, etc. to the foreign affiliates,”
she said.
Shobha Mishra Ghosh, Senior Director,
FICCI, states that the hospitals in India are
focusing strategically on increasing the
percentage of occupancy by medical tourists, approximately 30-35 percent
occupancy is estimated in large hospitals like Apollo, Fortis, etc, the localized
hospitals such as Medanta Medicity in Gurgaon, Ruby Hall in Pune, Lilawati
in Mumbai report an occupancy in the range of 15-20 percent.
“The hotels and travel agents closely work in tandem with the hospitals since
these hospitals have special foreign patients wing. The hospitals tie up with
these travel agents, hotels and airlines to give a single window service to the
medical travelers. It has also been observed that as a trend, hospitals and
hotels also offer their agents a commission for bringing in business. Most
well established hospitals and hotels have alliances with travel agents. This
not only helps enhance the medical travelers’ experience by making it hassle
free, but also helps hospitals and hotels gain business,” she added.
“The average duration of stay for treatments in India depends on the type of
treatment that the patient is availing, India’s strength in cardiology the treatment procedure includes 2-3 weeks as an optimal range. For treatment of
diseases that need extensive therapy, the stay may extend to months, “she
added.
Travel Agents Facilitators
Shobha says the travel agents specializing in niche medical tourism area is
closely associated with both hospitals and hotels and also at times act as
medical facilitators. The travel agents form an important part of the medical
tourism industry and acts as the link between medical travelers and hospitals, hotels and airlines. The travel agents are globally well connected and
also recognized by various countries’ tourism boards as valid travel agents.
Voyager’s World > October 2014
Expected growth of Medical Tourism in India
According to the FICCI-KPMG Report 2014 on Medical Value Travel, the Indian medical tourism market is expected to expand at a CAGR of 27 per cent
to reach USD3.9 billion in 2014, from USD1.9 billion in 2011 with inflow
of medical tourists expected to cross 320 million by 2015 compared to 85
million in 2012. India has a high value proposition in terms of cost effective
quality healthcare, pool of specialists, no language problems and availability
of alternate treatment options such as Ayurveda and Yoga.
Top 10 countries in Medical Tourism
The top 10 countries in medical tourism are Thailand, Mexico, USA, Singapore, India, Malaysia, Brazil, Turkey, Taiwan and Costa Rica.
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