When I underwent heart surgery some months ago at Bangalore’s Fortis Hospital at Bannerghatta Road, I found that the chap in the  private room next to mine was from the US. Walking down the corridor a few days later on my way to recovery, I bumped into a person from Kuwait and another from Nigeria. These were perhaps a small sample of the many thousands who come to India every year for healthcare, particularly surgical procedures which would cost them, if you will pardon the poor pun, a hand and a foot in their countries. In addition of course to the competence of the doctors and nursing staff here in India.

Hospital  groups like Fortis and Apollo have become household names in India and are increasingly known abroad as well. No wonder, Frost and Sullivan, the business research and consulting firm, says that business from medical tourism worldwide is growing at 20-30 % year on year. it is expected to touch a staggering $ 100 million by 2012. It is reckoned that every year some 3 million people travel abroad for medical treatment. That is a significant number!

The healthcare and medical sector has been yet another of the sectors to make a considerable impact on India’s new economy. I do recognize however that sadly these facilities, as spectacular as they may be, still cannot be accessed by a large number of Indians in their own country.