Sunday September 23, 2018

Medical online startups attracting foreign patients to India

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Image source: keweenawhealth.com

New Delhi: India, ‘the pharmacy of the developing world’, sees foreign patients flocking to the country due to its specialised and cost-effective medical care. This has resulted in the mushrooming of online startups that help foreign nationals find the best treatment in the country.

One such medical tourism start-up, PlanMyMedicalTrip.com, which was started nine years back, is now serving as a one-stop solution provider for foreign medical tourists.

“We have patients coming in from all over the world. However, Africa, GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) and CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) regions contribute towards the sector by as much as 30 percent of the total inflow,” said Anurav Rane, CEO, PlanMyMedicalTrip.com.

“There are a lot of different medical and surgical options for medical tourists coming to India. Primarily, medical tourists get elective procedures done such as cosmetic surgery, hip and knee replacements, dental procedures and infertility treatments,” he told reporters.

According to a white paper by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Grant Thornton, the Indian medical tourism market is set to touch $8 billion by 2020, up from the current $3 billion.

Saed Saber from Egypt recently came to India for knee replacement. “I wanted to get my knee replacement done but was confused as to how I should go about it. Since options in my country are limited with a high price tag for treatment, I started exploring for options, that is when I came to know about PlanMyMedicalTrip.com,” he said.

Saber visited PlanMyMedicalTrip.com to get his queries answered. “I got to know several options for hospitals across India and also got all the necessary procedures sorted for me in no time,” he told reporters.

IndiaHealthCareTourism.com, inaugurated recently by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is an initiative by the government to boost healthcare tourism. It is a web portal that helps and guides the patients who are looking for treatment options in India. It lists 93 topmost medical centres, 30 Ayurveda and wellness centres and one special category centre.

Another online venture, Medi Connect India, deals with the latest technologies like IVF (infertility), robotics surgeries, stem cell therapies, etc.

“The main reason behind India becoming a hub for medical tourism for foreigners is cost-effectiveness. Here in metro cities, you would get world-class treatment under the best doctors in a much cheaper way than what they would end up paying in their respective countries,” Shalini, assistant team lead, Medi Connect India, told reporters.

“In countries like Africa, a lot of modern treatments and good doctors are not available and hence they find India a good destination for medical reasons. Here, the best treatments are available with no waiting time in the company of highly-qualified doctors,” she added.

Medi Connect India has won the “National Tourism Award” for two consecutive years for excellence in medical tourism.

To serve foreign nationals better, most of the top-rated hospitals in India have also hired language translators to make patients, especially from Balkan and African countries, feel comfortable and help facilitate their treatment.

According to the CII-Grant Thornton white paper, Chennai, Mumbai, Andhra Pradesh and Delhi-NCR are the most favoured medical tourism destinations for foreigners who avail treatments in India.

Cost is a major driver for nearly 80 percent of medical tourists across the globe, it added.

The cost factor and availability of accredited facilities have led to the emergence of several global medical tourism corridors like Singapore, Thailand, India, Malaysia, Taiwan, Mexico and Costa Rica- and India appears to have taken a lead. (Vivek Singh Chauhan, IANS)

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Vatican Children’s Hospital Carries Out A Pioneering Surgery On a 30-month-old

Surgeons performing a laparoscopy have an extremely detailed picture of the patient's anatomy, allowing more precise incisions with a lower risk of bleeding.

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Toddler receives mother's kidney, part of liver in pioneering transplant. Pixabay

Surgeons at the Vatican children’s hospital in Rome have carried out a pioneering surgery in which a Lebanese woman’s kidney and part of her liver were transplanted in her 30-month-old son, who suffers from a rare metabolic disorder.

Doctors at the Bambin Gesu hospital performed path-breaking laparoscopic surgery on the left side of the woman’s liver and on her kidney.

The boy, named Danil, suffers from primary hyperoxaluria, a severe form of a rare metabolic disease called oxalosis, characterised by the formation of calcium oxalate deposits in organs and tissues.

Oxalosis can cause urinary infections and permanent kidney damage, and in the most severe cases, can stunt the patient’s growth and cause brittle bones that are vulnerable to fractures. It affects one in 100,000-333,000 people.

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All such patients treated at the Bambin Gesu have had dialysis during surgery and several days afterwards, and all the operations have been successful. Flickr

“This operation could be the first of its kind in the world,” the Bambin Gesu said in a statement.

“We are not aware of previous cases in which laparoscopic surgery has been carried out to transplant the same donor’s liver and kidney one after the other.”

The team at the Bambin Gesu that carried out the laparoscopic transplant in Danil of part his mother’s liver was led by Marco Spada, while the transplant of her kidney to the toddler was spearheaded by Luca dello Strologo.

Laparoscopic surgery to transplant a kidney from a living donor to a recipient is well-established, while the use of the minimally invasive technique for liver transplants is a more recent operation that is only done in the most specialist centres and, in Italy, currently only at the Bambin Gesu.

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Bambin Gesu hospital , Vatican. Flickr

All such patients treated at the Bambin Gesu have had dialysis during surgery and several days afterwards, and all the operations have been successful, according to the hospital. In the past 24 months, it has performed 32 liver or kidney transplants from living donors and 98 from deceased donors.

Also Read: Exposure to Arsenic, Lead may Spike up Risk of Heart Disease

The advantages of laparoscopy include a significant reduction in surgical trauma which reduces the length of time patients need to spend in hospital, less need for painkilling drugs, a lower risk of postoperative complications and a more rapid return to normal life, according to the experts.

And thanks to high-resolution (3K and 4K) and three-dimensional imaging technology, surgeons performing a laparoscopy have an extremely detailed picture of the patient’s anatomy, allowing more precise incisions with a lower risk of bleeding. (IANS)