January 2008

Going the Sahara Way

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Sahara Medical explores yet another rapidly expanding business opportunity around the world-  Medical Tourism. By startling the world with a sustained high economic growth, poised to be one of the biggest economies and superpowers in the coming years, India has gained a lot of attention. From an image of the land of elephants and snake charmers, it has now become a land of hi-tech knowledge workers, world class medical facilities and innumerable opportunities.

Along with state-of-the-art hospitals, sporting a legacy of thousands of years, with its Vedic knowledge and Ayurveda, India is truly emerging as a preferred destination for tourists who come for low cost high quality treatment with no waiting time. It is a place to relax and rejuvenate their body, mind and soul while exploring the rich culture of the new dynamic, changing India.

Medical Tourism presents concerns and challenges as well as opportunities. This trend will have an impact on the healthcare landscape in industrialized & developing countries around the world. Traveling overseas for medical care was first embraced by consumers, now it is being looked at by employers and health insurance companies for the simple reason of cost cutting. 
       
India's medical tourism market is believed to be worth over $ 300 million and is expected to rise to $ 2 billion by 2012. Reports show that 1,20,000 overseas patients traveled to India in 2005 to receive private medical treatment. This figure is expected to rise by 30% every year. The most common treatments that patients seek are heart surgery, knee surgery, cosmetic surgery and dental care.

On the one hand in countries like the U.K., the waiting list is so long that a patient waiting for knee replacement  might just die in pain before his turn comes. On the other hand there are 50 million people in the U.S.A., either insured or uninsured, who as  and when the need arises, have to turn to an alternative like India, for world class treatment at 1/10th of price. For all the talk about aging baby boomers bankrupting the U.S. healthcare system, the real cost culprits may be tests and treatments available at sky rocketing prices.

However, growth of this industry would not be possible only with technical expertise; it needs to be cushioned by personalized services by healthcare facilitators, making their role crucial and responsible. It is the Health Care Facilitators who make all the difference from a good medical procedure output to a really memorable experience of a complete wellness journey.

With greater access to technology and the ease of travel and communications- health and wellness services have truly entered the global marketplace and the path healthcare outsourcing has taken them from “Globalization to Googalization”.

Sahara adds significant credibility to the medical tourism industry by packaging all essential services such as travel, surgery, language, visa, and local tours and spiritual camps to ensure best customer experience. 'Our attention to details towards foreign patients' needs and customizing each medical trip accordingly is very unique in the industry and is a much needed services for people apprehensive of traveling to a foreign country for medical treatment'.

We at Sahara Medical make sure that when a patient moves in Sahara's safe network; and as the very meaning of 'SAHARA' is  to support, we hold our patient's hand right from the airport to the pre-booked hotel, to the scheduled hospital. Our ambassador even waits outside the ICU while the surgery is in progress. He subsequently checks on the patient while he recovers with holistic healing; follows up on his leisure trip in case he opts for one, till he is dropped back at the airport to fly back home, after a complete wellness trip.

Not just that, Sahara also has alliances with the local medical centers for the pre and post operative care.

Wishing you all a healthy & prosperous New Year!

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