In June, 2011, my daughter Ashley Xanthea had her brain tumor surgery at Lilavati Hospital, Mumbai, India. At first, my friends were reluctant because preferred medical destinations are the United States and some European nations. But I had dispelled their doubts. Here are the reasons why surgery in India is best and now a top medical consideration among international patients.
1. Going to India is Easy
India has maintained embassies, consulates and high commissions in 124 countries worldwide. They are located in Africa (29 countries), Asia (47 countries), Europe (28 countries), North America (7 countries), South America (9 countries) and Oceania (4 countries). Visa applications can be sent online or by courier. There is also a Tourist-Visa-On-Arrival in its leading international airports for a maximum stay of 30 days.
India is serviced by major international airlines with affordable fares. These top airlines include British Airways, Air India, Jet Airways, Virgin Atlantic, Emirates, Saudia, China Southern, Lufthansa, Gulf Air, Egypt Air, Qatar Airways, Oman Air, Turkmenistan Airlines, Air France, Delta, Air Mauritius, Etihad Airways, Kuwait Airways, EL AL Israel Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Air Canada, Royal Jordanian, KLM, Austrian Airlines, Kenya Airways, Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines, China Eastern, Turkish Airlines, Finnair, Korean Air, United, Aeroflot, Uzbekistan Airways, Swiss, ANA, Biman Bangladesh Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, South African Airways, PIA, Thai Airways, Ethiopian Airlines, Iran Air, Sri Lankan Airlines, Air China, Brussels Airlines and Asiana Airlines.
India has twelve international airports. Immigration and registration services are offered at Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Amritsar and Chennai.
Getting surgery in India is easier, more convenient and faster in processing time.
2. A Surgery in India Is Less Costly
The cost of surgery in India is about 75% to 90% cheaper than other countries. For example, an artery-clearing coronary bypass surgery by Devi Prasad Shettycosts US$1,583 in India as compared to US$15,000 to $40,000 in the United States. A knee joint replacement cost in India is around $5,000 in comparison to countries like the UK where the same surgery costs around $15,000. When my daughter had her brain tumor surgery, the operation was packaged at US$13,000.00.
Regular medical health checkups or examinations such as ultrasounds, blood tests and X-rays are substantially lower. The fees of the operating rooms and the anesthesiologists is usually by hourly rates. Drugs and medicines are also very cheap since India itself is a manufacturer and supplier of antibiotics and medicines. When it comes to facilities, there are 18 JCI accredited hospitals in India. JCI stands for Joint Commission International to ensure safety and quality of health care in the international community.
Ashley visited by Dr. Atul Goel
3. Doctors in India are Really Good.
The expertise of doctors really matter when you are having a surgery. Talking of expertise, we usually take into account the actual experience of surgeons especially in the number of surgeries he performed. An Indian surgeon is really experienced in terms of patients-to-doctor ratio which is about 1 doctor in every 1,700 patients.
Just take for example the case of my daughter. Her brain surgery of craniopharyngioma only took two hours from the time she was ushered to the operating room until she was brought to the recovery room. For just two hours!
4. The Medical Personnel are English Speakers.
The Indians are second largest English speaking people next to the Americans. English has been spoken as their associate language and their working language between the states and the central government. Hence, communicating in hospitals is not difficult. A surgery in India is most helpful because language is never a barrier.
5. You Can Mix Surgery with Pleasure.
While your patient is healing, you can roam and see India’s tourist destinations. With a medical visa that is longer, you have the opportunity for sight- seeing. India is famous for its Taj Mahal in Agra. This white domed marble mausoleum is one of the Seven Wonders of the World and has an epic love story behind it.
Another top destination is Mumbai City. The country’s commercial capital, Mumbai’s rhythm needs to be experience to be believed. It has colonial architecture, diverse cuisine and plenty of entertainment options. Some of the must-visits are the Gateway of India, the Film City for a glimpse of some Bollywood stars and some religious sites such as Mt Mary’s Church, Haji Ali mosque, and the ISCKON temple.
The Lilavati Hospital where my daughter had her brain tumor surgery is in Mumbai City and we had the pleasure of sight-seeing while she was recuperating at the hospital.