The Effect of Medical Tourism in India

The European Union recently introduced the GDPR or the General Data Protection Regulation. It requires every service provider to store, process or use the data that they collect about European Union citizens privately and safely. Notably, the regulation will also cover Indian hospitals that accommodate to EU citizens.

To know more about the General Data Protection Regulation, you can visit for more information.

Considered as one of the most popular destinations when it comes to medical tourism, India draws a large number of medical tourists from the United States, Europe, Canada and their neighboring Asian countries like China, the Middle East, Japan or South Korea. The regulation also states that service providers should uphold the rights of any European Union citizen while the data are being handled, transferred or being deleted.

According to some observers, hospitals in the country that accommodates EU citizens can’t afford to ignore the said regulation because the costs of non-compliance will be huge. The report notes that fines for non-compliance will reach more or less 20 million Euros or at least 4% of their annual turnover.

The report also advised private hospitals to make sure that they comply with the General Data Protection Regulation by organizing various awareness campaigns as well as training programs. Experts hope that the hospitals in the country will train caregivers and not increase the cost of health care services in private hospitals for Indian citizens.

Fortunately, the recent development in this field allows us to know and understand the difference between the private and public healthcare sectors in India. Tourists planning to visit the country for vacation or medical purposes can travel with to make sure they experience what this country has to offer.

An initial study of the literature that surrounds the healthcare sector in India suggests that services from private hospitals are exclusive, inaccessible and very expensive, whereas services from public hospitals is substandard and inadequate. The reason for the latter’s poor and inadequate services is because there are too many people availing their services, but public hospitals don’t have enough resources to accommodate everyone.

People in the marginalized sector (or the poor people who can’t afford private healthcare) are the one who is deeply affected by this issue. On the other hand, the private healthcare services in India are only accessible to the middle-class and the elite population.

According to the reports, more or less 95% of household healthcare expenses are paid by the patient and their families. That is why healthcare services in India constitute an out-of-pocket expenditure. It means few Indians have their health care services funded by the insurance company.

The situation is very alarming because according to the Indian Constitution, every citizen should get quality health care, to be paid by the state. That is why it is essential that we examine the emergence of India as one of the most popular medical tourism destinations in the world. Indeed, the government has provided some kind of incentive for medical tourism, and because of that, the industry has flourished since 1991, the year where the nation liberalized their economy.

To find out more about the medical tourism boom in India, click here.

It is true that it takes a lot of money to promote, market as well as sustain the growth of medical tourism the country gained. The government actively diverted a portion of public resources to increase and boost medical tourism despite the problems with their healthcare industry.

That is why it is essential to know whether the government’s stand is justifiable. We need to examine the social and ethical implications of promoting private healthcare and medical tourism to the locals as well as its consequences to the visiting tourists.

Medical tourism is not a recent occurrence. Staunch critics, as well as admirers of medical tourism, are quick to point out that it is already a thousand years old industry. But the practice remains widely misunderstood and poorly managed. For example, admirers note the benefits the country can get if the government will actively support it.

According to studies, India can get as much as five billion dollars from medical tourism. The money they can get from this industry can help support healthcare in the country. On the other hand, critics argue that it is also vital to examine the social, ethical and cultural implications of the industry.

The government has taken steps to reduce the cost of services provided by private healthcare. They cap the price of consumables, medical devices and most importantly, the medicines. Not only that, India’s National Health Policy suggests that the government should push for a universal health care plan.

The plan will cover the needs of all citizens, irrespective of their age, income, employment status or their financial situation. It will not only benefit local citizens, but it can also boost medical tourism or tourism in general. According to research, countries with excellent healthcare services tend to improve the numbers of tourists visiting their country, whether it is for vacation or they seek medical services.

For example, Japan and South Korea, because of the state of their health care, which is one of the best in the world, the number of tourists visiting the country has been increasing dramatically. They can now offer not only good vacation spots, but also medical services. Thailand is also one perfect example of this situation. Small countries in South East Asia like the Philippines, Indonesia, Singapore or Malaysia is also starting to see the benefits of having a good healthcare industry for their tourism.

Developed countries like India are beginning to present themselves as a viable and attractive destination for medical tourism. Because of this, it is crucial to know whether these nations have all the necessary resources as well as policies to make sure that every locals and tourist can access quality health care services.

People in the government should carefully examine the economic implications of medical tourism as well as social consequences. As we all know, we are now entering a stage where tourist destination will not only mean good views and delicious food.

An excellent tourist destination should offer everything, from majestic landscapes, historical places, breathtaking architectures, sumptuous food as well as medical services. India has been one of the leaders in medical technology; the government should take advantage of this and create an excellent plan to use this technology to promote medical tourism to every tourist in the world.