Feature

Goodbye Taj Mahal, hello ‘medical tourism’.

The week's news at a glance.

India

Anjali PuriOutlook India

“Medical tourism” is India’s next big industry, said Anjali Puri in Delhi’s Outlook India. The idea “seemed absurd” five years ago. But it turns out that Americans, Canadians, and Europeans really “will travel thousands of miles, to so-called cholera country, for medical treatment.” Thanks to free publicity from British and American news shows, Indian hospitals are now taking in hundreds of foreign patients each. One private hospital in Delhi was featured on the American TV show 60 Minutes, and the very next day it was flooded with e-mails from would-be patients: “What will a new hip cost by itself? And with bigger breasts thrown in? What about a package for two: a face-lift for me, Lasik eye surgery for my companion?” Everything from a root canal to in-vitro fertilization to angioplasty can now be done just as safely in India as in the West, and at far lower cost. The Tourism Ministry is already revamping its brochures to market India as a global health-care destination. “So, after incredible temples, incredible tigers, and incredible yoga, it’s now going to be incredible doctors backed by incredible technology.”

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