In the year 2011, US President, Obama said, he would make affordable healthcare available for Americans in their country so they would no longer have to travel to India or Mexico for the same. In the middle of all the criticism that his statement earned him, he did point the attention of the world towards a recent trend in the Global Healthcare Industry- Medical Tourism.
Medical Tourism refers to rapidly growing trend of patients traveling across the globe to avail cheaper healthcare services. Over recent couple of years, healthcare services available in developing nations have taken a steep hike in terms to quality and conformance to International compliance. This has attracted a lot attention from the rest of the world, both in terms of investment and availing of services. In Indian context, according to a report by Delhi-based RNCOS*, India’s share in the global medical tourism industry will reach around 3% by the end of 2013. The December 2010 report says that the industry should generate revenues of around US$3 billion by 2013. Enthused by the prediction, hospitals across developing nations are fast catching up by introducing IT to their infrastructure to scale up their services and improve the quality of healthcare. An HMIS, conforming to International healthcare standards such as ICD 10, LOINC can assist the hospital in importing a tourist’s EMR from any part of the world to understand their medical history and conduct their diagnosis.
While the world watches, developing nations are pacing themselves to find a place on the global map. And, this would be not possible without IT intervention.
* Healthy Business: Will Medical Tourism be India’s next Big Industry?; India Knowledge@Wharton; June 02, 2011