Washington: An Indian American doctor has suggested that India should offer special tax exemptions to its healthcare industry to capitalise on a potentially $100 billion opportunity offered by the globalisation of healthcare."The Indian government must reform fiscal policy relating to healthcare as India is one of the beneficiaries of the globalisation phenomenon," Boston-based cardiac surgeon and healthcare economist Mukesh Hariawala said.
At the same time, Hariawala cautioned that with the arrival of these high paying overseas patients, local Indian patients should not be relegated as second class.A portion of the profits from medical tourism must also be reserved for urbanisation of rural India, he suggested.In "medical travel", most sought after procedures in destination countries are open heart surgery, hip and knee replacement, spinal fusion, dental implants and total body cosmetic surgery."The success rates of all participating hospitals match US standards and patients often find services and care personalised, particularly in India," Hariawala said.Besides India, hot destinations for medical travellers from North America and Europe include Mexico, South Korea, Thailand, the Philippines, Singapore, Dubai and Malaysia. Of these India and Thailand seem to be getting a lion`s share, closely followed by South Korea, he said.While India currently has 10 hospitals with the Joint Commission International seal of accreditation given to hospitals meeting US and EU standards, its closest competitor Thailand has four, Hariawala noted.While China too offers excellent facilities, it is still a non-player in this new, emerging and fast growing market because of the language barrier, he said.IANS
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