"It looks like a hospital": Medical Tourism in India

Medical tourism, on NPR. A growing number of Europeans are going to India to get medical treatment, including advanced surgery. This story has a Canadian man who needed a knee replacement, but was told that it would take a year before the operation could be performed in Canada. He was able to fly to India, have the operation done, and stay for 21 days in the hospital, all for $8000. He used Apollo Hospitals, which is aggressively marketing itself for just this sort of thing. But apparently India doesn't have a licensing system for this type of private hospital (is that really true?), and only a a small number of European and North American insurance companies currently recognize them.

The story suggests that India could generate revenues of $2 Billion USD this way by 2012. But again, it will only happen if the government invests in certain infrastructure improvements; one potential patient (this could be apocryphal) was so horrified by what he saw between the airport and the hospital that he decided not to get treatment in India after all.

They are also talking about a special line at the Immigration counter for people getting medical treatment, as they have in Thailand.