Chennai – Healthcare Capital of India?

This post is inspired by an observation made by Badri Seshadri on his blog about Chennai becoming the Health-care capital of India. He made the observation based on the fact that hospitals in Chennai are frequented by people from other states. However, I would like to take this one step further by asking the question “can Chennai attract medical tourists not just from other states but from other countries as well?”.

Chennai has some of the best hospitals in the country. Given the good infrastructure we have in Health-care sector, I think attracting tourists from other countries makes perfect economic sense since Health-care in India costs roughly about 10-15% of what it does in other countries. More over, by attracting people from other countries, the Health-care industry in the city will grow and will lead to further competition and produce even better hospitals and infrastructure. Just as how IT companies like Infosys and Wipro made Bangalore the leader in Information Technology, Chennai with the help of its modern hospitals can truly become the Health-care Capital of India.

I have also noticed a good trend in this direction. Some organizations are taking initiative to realize this. MediTourIndia is a private organization which supports such an effort by offering complete packages of various categories to attract tourists from other countries. One of the main difficulties experienced by patients from other countries is the lack of knowledge as to how to schedule an entire trip from abroad. Companies like MediTourIndia simplify this task by satisfying the end-to-end requirements for the patients from abroad.

So I think promoting Chennai as the Healthcare capital for attracting foreign patients is a win-win situation for the city, patients, as well as the hospitals. While, the Tamil Nadu Government is unlikely to foresee such opportunities for the betterment of the city, private initiatives in this direction is a welcome step.


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