As a city loaded with rich culture and heritage, Hyderabad is home to numerous historic landmarks, tourist spots, and old markets that seize the attention of travellers. Though these historic landmarks will never lose their captivating charm, there are many new landmarks coming up in the city in the form of ultra-modern healthcare facilities that offer world-class treatment at affordable rates. These growing healthcare facilities in Hyderabad are driving up the influx of medical tourists into the city.
Inbound Medical Tourists Coming to Hyderabad Is on the Rise
Quality healthcare, competitive pricing, warm hospitality, and excellent air connectivity are dramatically transforming Hyderabad into a major hub for inbound medical tourism in the country. According to a Hans India article, a finding from the Ministry of Tourism has stated that foreign tourist arrivals in Hyderabad on medical visas is increasing between 20 to 30% annually. As per available data, the city, at present, attracts more than one thousand foreign nationals every month from countries like Tanzania, Somalia, Nigeria, Middle East, CIS countries, Oman, Nepal, Bangladesh, and other Southeast Asian countries.
These international tourists mainly come to the city for critical treatments like brain and spine surgery, bone marrow transplants, bariatric surgery, heart and lung transplant, colorectal surgeries, gastroenterology procedures, gynaecology surgeries, joint replacements, cochlear implant surgery, IVF, dental procedures, heart surgeries, cancer treatment, and preventive health check-ups.
The Pan-African-e-network project is also playing a significant role in turning Hyderabad into a popular medical tourism destination. Due to this project, awareness in African countries about the medical facilities available in Hyderabad is increasing at a rapid rate. Also, the sizable number of African students residing in Hyderabad is also driving up the numbers. As per rough estimates, more than 1,000 international students got enrolled in various courses at Osmania University last year.
The Cost Advantage Is Attracting Inbound Medical Tourists to Hyderabad
Foreign nationals come to Hyderabad not only to avail cheap medical facilities but also for world-class treatment the city offers. However, when it comes to pricing, the cost for complex treatments such as leukaemia is nearly 10 to 20 times lower in Hyderabad healthcare facilities as compared to treatment costs in western countries, according to the Hans India report. It also cited an official from a reputed healthcare facility in the city claim that they have till now treated more than 200 foreign patients. Treatments were provided to patients suffering from complications like pulmonary problems, orthopaedics, cardiology, and paediatrics at a one-fifth cost of what hospitals in the US and western countries would have charged.
The Telangana State Government Plans a New Medical Hub
On similar lines of T-Hub, the Telangana state government is intending to launch a Medical Tourism Hub (MT-Hub) very soon in order to facilitate the foreign nationals coming to the city with proper infrastructure support. By setting up this state-of-the-art Medical Tourism Hub, the state government wants to boost the current figures of twelve thousand inbound medical tourists per year, to one lakh per annum, over the next five years.
The purpose of the proposed Medical Tourism Hub will be to coordinate with related companies and industries to enable smooth stay and hassle-free medical treatment of foreigners coming to Hyderabad. For instance, a patient who has undergone an operation requires postoperative treatments like physiotherapy, injections, and other care. But usually patients are released after the operation, and they cannot stay in the hospital for these simple treatments. The Medical Tourism Hub will take care of their stays in Hyderabad, and provide the required postoperative care.
To materialize the concept of a Medical Tourism Hub, the tourism department of the state government is planning to utilize a 13-storied sports tower with 468 rooms to accommodate inbound medical tourists requiring postoperative treatment. The lavish sports tower in Gachibowli, built in 2007 for the World Military Games, is at present lying idle.
The influx from foreign countries in Hyderabad healthcare facilities for high quality treatment is so high that several private hospitals are now opening international desks and appointing full-time translators to communicate with inbound medical tourists visiting the city. Taking into consideration the ever-increasing flow of foreign patients, many experts in the tourism and medical industry are predicting that Hyderabad can easily surpass the forecasted twenty to thirty percent annual growth rate much sooner than expected.