As in most countries encouraging medical tourism, the "tourism" portion of the equation tends to be over-emphasized. While India is indeed an exotic destination for the Western visitor, sightseeing and shopping after major surgery -- cosmetic or functional -- is seldom practical or even enjoyable.
India's largest private hospitals offer sophisticated and specialized medical and surgical services at affordable prices, and its healthcare industry is slated to grow at a rate of 15 per cent a year. However, general medical tourism is a much more developed business sector in India than is cosmetic surgery tourism.
Due to the lucrative nature of cosmetic care, the government of India, like most governing bodies in less developed countries, has instituted aggressive programs to market and stimulate this highly-competitive sector, a major element of which is to establish higher standards for education and safety.
A number of official regulatory agencies oversee both Indian hospitals and doctors, while the non-governmental U.S. based Joint Commission International USA (JCI) is the gold standard for voluntary accreditation.
Because of very long flight times from North America, most Western medical tourists traveling to India come from Europe or are expatriates with local family or friends. Personal security has, in recent years, become a major issue.
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