Chennai The World's Upcoming Medical Capital

Sanjeev Mattoo, Founder, Tiger ThroneSanjeev is s seasoned marketing professional with over ten years of demonstrated expertise in accomplishing the best results in areas of brand management, creative advertising and others

India’s rise as a preferred medical tourism country is a fact that is no longer debatable. Armed with exceptionally talented medical professionals, the latest medical technology along with competitive price points, India has seen an increasing number of foreigners flocking to the country to seek world-class treatment for a range of specialties, from oncology, cosmetology, orthopedics to challenging treatments such as organ transplant cardiology, neurology and others. Growing at an 18 percent CAGR every year, the Indian Medical Value Tourism Industry is expected to be worth $9 billion by the end of 2020.

Closer home, we’ve seen different states pegging to be the top-most choice of foreign healthcare-seeking tourists. A knowledge paper released by Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) recently stated that major cities such as Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Kolkata have been the go to destinations for patients visiting India for healthcare services. Out of these cities, Chennai accounts for nearly 45 per cent of visitors. Multi and super specialty hospitals across the city bring in an estimated 150 international patients every day for various therapies and treatments. A multitude of factors have earned the Southern city the label of ‘Health Capital of India’.

A Patient First Approach
The medical value travel experience in Chennai is focused on enhancing ease and convenience of the patient. Most visitors are from resource-constrained countries where they experience long waiting times, inadequate infrastructure, unreliable expertise among others. MVT is a highly engaging experience that requires a patient to interact with multiple stakeholders while accessing care i.e. right from referral to returning to his/her home country. These stakeholders have a major role in determining the quality of experience of MVT patients and their family members. This is where a medical facilitator steps in and guides the foreign patients and their families with dedicated attention throughout the entire process. Chennai offers a host of trusted and accredited medical tourism facilitators that simplify the entire experience for foreign patients.

Cost Effectiveness
In a global economy where hospital bills and insurance companies
almost render people bankrupt, India offers excellent healthcare services at affordable figures. Cost effectiveness is a key parameter in driving the demand for medical value travel. As per the MTA patient survey report, nearly 80 percent of the patients decide on the destination after considering the overall cost savings. India has considerable edge over other global medical value destinations in terms of cost effectiveness. Medical tourists travelling to Chennai can have cost savings in the range of 30-70 percent across procedures.

Apart from medical bills, cost of living such as hotel rents, travel expenses etc. are also significantly lower in the city.This economical aspect is especially beneficial for those patients who travel with their family and have to undergo a long duration of treatment.

Chennai offers a host of trusted and accredited medical tourism facilitators that simplify the entire experience for foreign patients

A Global Network of Medical Excellence
Chennai has an exceptional legacy of being at the forefront of healthcare services in the country. One of the major factors that have boosted the city’s image as a major destination for medical value tourism is the availability of excellent medical, surgical, clinical and nursing talent. The Medical Community in Chennai is upgrading its knowledge and skill faster and better than any other. Healthcare professionals who have returned to India after pursuing academic excellence abroad, bring with them a network of international doctors and surgeons that can be leveraged for the patient’s benefit. Apart from this, hospitals in Chennai are investing in top-of line medical equipment across all specialties in order to enhance patient outcomes. The latest technology coupled with excellent medical skill makes the city a preferred choice for most foreign patients.

Ease of Access
In the last decade, medical visa norms in the country have been simplified to a great extent to ensure a hassle free experience for foreign patients and their families. Through a medical visa, patients can now make multiple visits or choose to stay for a long duration of time depending on their treatment plan. The provision of e-visas is also another benefit for those looking to seek a medical care in India. The government has also taken several initiatives to streamline the visa issuance process such as offering free visas for Maldivian patients, easy extension, and more. Further, the Tamil Nadu government is pushing new regulations to lay out a practical roadmap for providers, policy makers and other partners so that they work together to further strengthen Chennai’s position as a hub for MVT.

Presence of Accredited Multispecialty Hospitals
Superior clinical outcomes i.e. focus on quality, drives patient’s choice of medical travel destination. As per a recent patient survey report, for 59 percent patients, it is one of the most important criteria for final selection.

Quality in healthcare may be largely driven by following parameters:
•Presence of facilities providing high-end care
•Availability of skilled doctors, especially. super specialists
•Increasing focus on accreditation

In the last couple of decades, Chennai has witnessed the major emergence of corporate hospitals. This was a major shift from the earlier trend of care delivery through government owned hospitals or trust owned providers. Presence of corporates in the hospital segment has resulted in increased investment in healthcare delivery primarily into highend technology, world-class amenities etc. as well as increasing focus on achieving scale by building large setups. Given the size of the setups, these providers have started focusing on MVT patients to cater to the capacity available. Large hospitals, especially those owned by corporates, are increasingly focusing on achieving global accreditation to leverage it as a branding tool.