The cost of medical facilities has spiraled in most western countries in recent years. In fact, one can not afford the high cost of hospitalization and all the related medical expenses unless he is fully and adequately insured. This has made people look for alternatives, and this is where India has emerged as an attractive option. Patients from far off countries are today willing to travel to India as they can expect to get the same high level of expertise and treatment that they get in their relevant countries. The added attraction is of course the low cost of treatment and the low fees charged by doctors in India. However, all that glitters is not gold, and this is quite what many patients find to their dismay and utter disappointment when they come to India on a medical tour.

Medical tourism in India is at an all time high at present. The skills of specialist doctors in India are known to the world and a weakened Rupee works as an incentive for people from Europe and US as they seek to get treatment for their medical problems in India. These people can hope to get their surgeries and other treatments in India often at a quarter of the price they would incur in their own countries. Combining a plastic surgery or an open heart operation with a chance to see exotic locales in India is a mouth watering prospect for many people in the west. However, there are many downsides to medical tourism in India that have the potential to tarnish the image of the country.

India Has Weak Malpractice Laws

Although patients coming over to India to get treatment are in general satisfied with the quality of doctors and hospitals, they soon have little or no help from the local courts in the eventuality of malpractice or something going wrong during their treatment. It is very difficult to sue a doctor or a hospital for any malpractice in India as the legal infrastructure is weak. Getting compensation for any negligence or malpractice on the part of the doctors in India is rare.

Little Follow Up Care

Patients are almost always in a hurry to catch up with their itinerary to see places of tourist attraction soon after their operation or surgery. This translates into very little post operative care that can lead to complications and side effects. Patients have a weak immunity after surgery and they are in a hurry to travel across India. They get very little post operative care and carry the risk of catching various diseases such as typhoid, dysentery, influenza, and even tuberculosis.

Ethical Considerations

There is a hot debate going on in India about the manner in which medical resources of a poor country like India are being utilized in the name of medical tourism. Local populace is being denied of basic medical facilities and rich people from the west are getting five star treatments in private hospitals. Greedy hospitals and doctors have become so involved with foreign patients that they have no time for Indian patients.