Medical Tourism

Stricter visa rules driving away medical tourism from India


MUMBAI 
Prathap C Reddy, the cardiologist who built the Apollo Hospitals chain valued at $2 billion over three decades in India, says he’s seeking growth overseas as the visa policies drive medical tourists to rivals.

Apollo Hospitals is considering hospitals in Indonesia, Cambodia and Tanzania, Reddy said in an interview at his Chennai office. Growth in the number of visitors seeking treatment for heart ailments, cancer and orthopaedic surgery is falling short of Reddy’s estimates as India’s special visa for patients forces them to visit an immigration office, he said.

India, which offers the world’s biggest savings for US medical tourists, is losing clients to Singapore and Thailand as visa rules and greater awareness of drug-resistant germs that spread from the country scare away patients. Government neglect means India may fail to tap the $40 billion market that’s expanding 25% a year, said Josef Woodman, founder of the guidebook Patients Beyond Borders.

Full report here Economic Times 

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