Medical & Health Care Tourism in Karnataka

Recently Karnataka has emerged as a hot spot for health care tourism. Karnataka has the highest number of approved health systems and alternative therapies in India. Along with some ISO certified government-owned hospitals, private institutions which provide international-quality services have caused the health care industry to grow by 30% during 2004-05. Hospitals in Karnataka treat around 8,000 health tourists every year.

Bangalore and Mysore, together with their super-specialty hospitals and a range of good hotels - even a few ISO certified government hospitals - are being pitched at global tourists and businesspeople.

Still flush from the limelight it got from hosting little Noor Fatima, Pakistani heart patient, Karnataka is now looking at snaring at least 20 per cent of the 3.2 lakh total international inflow as healthcare tourists, according to Mr Mahendra Jain, State Tourism Commissioner.

In a first-of-its kind concerted action from a State Government, it will showcase its top-class corporate and government hospitals and star hotels as the new business opportunity offering the best mix of cost-effective medical treatment and tourist proposition.

If Kerala tops in ayurveda treatments, Bangalore, with its unusual offer of a mix of traditional systems like ayurveda and yoga and modern medical expertise, was uniquely poised to capture the health tourism market that currently thrives in Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand. It has the highest number of approved health systems and alternative therapies. The department has done limited promotion campaigns in the country and in the Gulf, Pakistan and the UK to highlight what it can offer.

Founded in 2006, the multi-disciplinary super-specialty Wockhardt Hospitals, Bangalore today treats 250 patients per day in its OPD. Wockhardt had undergone many landmark surgeries in 2008. An open-heart surgery successfully performed on the smallest baby in the country, brain tumour surgery through nose, bypass surgery with valve replacement, and removal of tumour from the heart measuring 8x10x12 cm performed at the Hospital are the biggest achievements of this year. This Hospital is positioned as a super-specialty Hospital, with focus on cardiac, orthopaedics, neurosciences, minimal access surgery and women and child services. They are launching organ transplant programme and oncology center by the year 2009.