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Jan, 16 2010

Promoting medical tourism

From booking medical procedures in leading hospitals around the globe in 2006, MediTravels went on to offer a complete package including air, hotel and recuperation vacation packages. The company focuses on consumer-driven healthcare approach, where the p

From booking medical procedures in leading hospitals around the globe in 2006, MediTravels went on to offer a complete package including air, hotel and recuperation vacation packages. The company focuses on consumer-driven healthcare approach, where the patient is able to dictate pricing or choose a hospital/clinic which suits his budget. The company has also added a clinic and pharmacy to cater to the needs of the patients.

Medical tourism worldwide

Medical tourism will see a sturdy growth in the coming years both in India and abroad.  The concept has re-surfaced, especially in the western countries, due to higher cost of healthcare, longer waiting period, insurance-excluded treatments, treatment for un-insured and under-insured patients.

A huge number of Indian patients are travelling within India for medical treatment. India also has the potential to host medical tourism patients from various countries as it has a good pool of intellectual doctors educated in western countries, medical teams that are fluent in English and other languages and overall a sense of cost effectiveness to offer to the patients.

Other reasons that is encouraging medical tourism in India are its booming economy and consumerism, low doctor-to-patient ratio, recent vogue for cosmetic procedures, exploding population, difference in urban and rural healthcare, government aid and support for medical tourism, news and media hype, and cost-driven and not insurance-controlled industry.

MediTravels

MediTravels is a US-based company and has partners all across the globe. This includes India, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Turkey, Dubai, Mexico, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Israel, Philippines and Brazil. The company offers franchises across the globe starting with Asia (besides US). “Medical Tourism provided by MediTravels is consumer driven. As more and more patients will be aware of this new concept, I anticipate within a period of five years it will start seeing an exponential growth,” says Dr Naz, President, MediTravels.

MediTravels offers affordable and quality medical care in India and abroad through medical tourism. MediTravels has tied up with more than 150 leading JCI accredited hospitals around the globe including, Gleneagles Group, Apollo Group, Escorts, MIOT, Wockhard, AIIMS, Max Healthcare, Phyathai, Piyavate Hospital, Bangkok Hospital, Christus Muguerza, The Hospital Clinical Biblica, The Medical City, Parkway Health and Raffles Hospital. In addition, it has also tied up with leading travel agents like Travelocity, Orbitz, and Incredible India.

MediTravels provides all pre-planned procedures. Some of the procedure include kidney transplant, orthopedics & joint replacements, cardiology, cosmetic surgery, general surgery, ENT, dental procedures to name a few. In addition, it also provides air, hotel, and vacation packages to cater the needs of the patients.

India entry & expansion

Meditravels is expected to enter India through the franchise route by 2010. However, the company is open to both master franchise and unit franchise options. “Our target markets would be tier I and tier II cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Calcutta, Ahmadabad, Surat, Baroda, Nagpur, Nasik, Aurangabad, Chandigarh, Coimbatore and other upcoming cities. We want to ensure that our Indian business model is scalable and after which we will ramp up our expansion,” informs Dr Naz. In the first year, it intends to open 10-15 units in India and advance to 40-60 units in next 2-3 years.

Franchise requisites

Meditravels’ franchisees will assist patients to make informed decisions depending upon their budget availability. MediTravels will provide franchisees comprehensive system training and support which includes sales & operations, finance, recruiting and retaining talent, global peer network, and brand recognition and marketing.

Franchisees will have the option to have MediClinik and MediPharmacy along with medical tourism services. MediTravels units would have minimum of 500 sq.ft to 2,000 sq.ft area located in a highly visible location approved by the corporate. The investment might range from Rs 25 lakh to 1 crore depending on the size, location and city.

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