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Medical tourism bolstering Bangladesh-India bilateral ties Medical Tourism
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Medical tourism bolstering Bangladesh-India bilateral ties

Bangladesh Live News | @banglalivenews | 24 Feb 2024, 06:31 am

Dhaka, February 24: India, one of the global leaders in the medical tourism industry, has emerged as one of the most cost-efficient and fastest-growing medical tourism destinations today for patients worldwide. India plays a leadership role in cross-border bilateral cooperation through healthcare service provision to South Asian countries especially Bangladesh.

The uniqueness of India is its ability to offer holistic medical services such as Unani, yoga, meditation, Ayurveda, and homoeopathic treatments. Availability of high-quality healthcare professionals and nurses, round the clock services by medical staff, choice of luxury rooms in hospitals, good medical options, high success rates, reputation for treatment in advanced healthcare segment such as cardiovascular surgery, organ transplants, and eye surgery, popularity of Indian traditional wellness systems, diversity of tourist destinations, strength in information technology are the attractive aspects of Indian medical tourism.

Today more and more Bangladeshis choose India as their destination for cost-effective medical treatments, which are often packaged with complementary tourism services such as hotel accommodation or sightseeing.

A significant number of tourists from Bangladesh visit India each year. In 2022, the United States had the highest number of tourists visiting India, followed by Bangladesh. From April to October 2022, over 38.3 lakh foreigners visited India, with Bangladeshi citizens accounting for the maximum arrivals at 8.4 lakh.  It’s also worth noting that a large portion of these visits are for medical tourism. About 54% of all foreign medical visitors going to India for treatment are Bangladeshis. The inflow of medical tourists from Bangladesh has surged by 83% in the last three years since 2018.

Many Bangladeshi patients travel to India not just to receive complicated procedures but also for routine pathological tests and to confirm diagnoses. A large number of Bangladeshi tourists travelled to India to diagnose their health problems which is a prerequisite to providing appropriate treatment and medication. Patients often mention that although some medical technologies are available in Bangladesh, they have lost faith in doctors and their use of these technologies.

Private hospitals in India with government support, are offering complex state-of-the art invasive surgeries and non-invasive treatments. Bangladeshi nationals travel to India for medical treatments because of the low cost of treatment and surgery, no waiting period, availability of treatment and medical expertise various other factors such as social, cultural affinity, language, religious sensitivities, political and economic conditions.

Bangladesh has emerged as one of the key sources of medical tourists for India. The reasons for this trend include the quality of treatment in India, cost-effectiveness, and cultural comfort due to similarities in food and language. Hospitals in India provide comprehensive support for foreign patients, from arrival at the airport through housing, care, and even cuisines of their choice, as well as translators to assist them throughout.

India has nearly 40 Joint Commission international (JCI) accredited hospitals. the world’s leading healthcare accreditation issued by the Joint Commission international (JCI) in the United States. JCI is a difficult standard to maintain. JCI accredited hospitals in Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, and Chennai are among the most preferred destinations for Bangladeshi medical tourists.  It's also worth noting that the Indian government's decision to extend e-medical visas to 166 countries has facilitated the travel of these patients.

India's availability of well-experienced doctors, hospital/medical facilities with high standards, well-trained doctors, reputable doctors, and quality treatments and medical materials are the primary determinants influencing Bangladeshi patients' decision-making process and their satisfaction level toward medical tourism in India.