Less painful, cheaper spinal surgeries to push medical tourism: Experts

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New Delhi, July 19 (IANS) With the rise in the number of spinal surgeries by Indian hospitals at costs lesser those in western countries, health experts expect a surge in patients from abroad seeking similar surgeries in India.

According to experts, the Indian medical tourism market is expected to more than double to reach $8 billion by 2020. Currently, Bangladesh and Afghanistan dominate the Indian medical value travel with a 34 per cent share.

“Spine surgeries are now one of Indian hospitals’ expertise. The hospitals deliver to patients a world-class spine surgery at tailor-made packages, which suits all their needs and requirements,” said Manish Vaish, Associate Director – Neuro Surgery at Max Super Specialty Hospital.

Stating that spine surgeries in India not only help the foreign patients in their back pain-related ailments, they also offer a full complement of surgical as well as physiotherapy services — another reason that drives the patients coming from across the world, Vaish explained.

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“We have developed expertise in some of the most advanced minimally invasive surgical techniques, which require only tiny incisions and often take less than an hour. This type of surgery causes less trauma than older surgical methods and requires much less time in the hospital,” said Vaish.

A Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) report held that cost is a major driver for nearly 80 per cent of medical tourists across the globe.

“With the integration of surplus talent, technology, tourist attraction, trade and tradition, India is a potential place to promote itself as a premier global healthcare destination and enable streamlined medical services,” said Sanjay Agarwala, Medical Director of Hinduja Hospital.

Growth in the medical tourism and healthcare delivery industry will also give a push to creation of newer employment opportunities besides benefiting pharmaceutical and medical equipment industries, according to experts.

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