The global competition to be the pre-eminent Medical Tourism country is heating up. Macau has recently announced that they are going to begin developing their Medical Tourism industry as a way to boost tourism. Malaysia, a top five country in Medical Tourism, has serious and direct support from the government.
Japan and China are both building the infrastructure to make Medical Tourism a major industry, and the United Arab Emirates continues to support Medical Tourism, now creating a Diploma in Health Economics in an attempt to drive their Medical Tourism Industry. Even with all these advances, a leading cardiac expert says that India will maintain its dominance in the field for at least another decade.
Dr. K M Cherian, a world renown heart surgeon, and founding chairman of Frontier Lifeline Hospital, believes that India’s major benefit comes in the form of its human capital
Speaking at a conference in Beijing, Dr. Cherian said that, “India’s biggest advantage is the language and human technology which cannot be easily replaced,” and other countries, specifically China and Japan, would have difficulties overcoming this barrier.”
He went on to say, “They cannot do it for the next 10 years. Having equipment and hospitals is not enough. The main problem for them is the language. They have technology, but human technology is missing. That is where we make a difference. Indian doctors are well accepted all over the world.”
Dr. Cherian sees a great opportunity for Indian private hospitals and pharmaceutical companies to well in China as that country opens up to more corporate forms of healthcare.
“Right now China only has government hospitals. However much they are good, they cannot serve over 1.4 billion people. It is a tremendous strain”, he said. But loosening restrictions may make more affordable healthcare available to the burgeoning Chinese middle class, and create a opportunity for many medical exchanges.
“My own hospital has trained six Chinese cardiac surgeons” Cherian said, along with encouraging both China and Japan to focus on medical exchanges as a way to increase skills, and help close the human technology gap.