Homemaker Adria Swarney, 50, from Australia scheduled her knee replacement surgery with a leading hospital in Delhi. As it would have taken Swarney and her husband over a month in Delhi, they wanted a place near the hospital and also did not want to spend on a hotel. They preferred a service apartments and were satisfied with their experience with leading service apartment player. They ended up staying for 2 months.medical tourism

Patients with their families coming from other countries like US, UK, etc usually opt for service apartments for long stays, say industry players. “In the past two years we have had almost 40% business from the guest visiting city (Delhi and Gurgaon) for medical issues. Annual increase for medical tourism in India has been observed by 25% every year,” says Mohini Tripathi, reservation manager at Rated Apartments. The company has witnessed a mix of 60-40 of medical and leisure travellers.

Others like Alacurity, less than two-year old player, caters only to medical tourists. Shyam Znwar, CEO of Alacurity says, “We don’t seek leisure travellers coming for anywhere between 2 and 7 days. We prefer only those who come to stay for 2 weeks or more.”

Bangalore, Delhi, Gurgaon and Chennai are the hot spots for medical tourism. Medical tourists prefer serviced apartments over hotels mainly because serviced apartments are more cost effective than hotels. Tourists have their own privacy. Their family can stay together under the same roof and they can cook as per their own requirement.

Many serviced apartments are close to hospitals, making it convenient to commute without spending much on transportation. Most of the serviced apartments are professionally managed with a 24-hour concierge and assistance in case of an emergency.

Both Rated Aprtaments and Alacurity are e-commerce companies, which act as an intermediaries between the apartment owners and the tourist. Rated Apartments has tied up with companies like Escorts and Fraser for service apartments and has an inventory of 110 apartments. Alacurity has an inventory of 15 apartments in the National Capital Region only.

You can choose between a studio serviced apartment to a 4-BHK penthouse. The apartments generally provide 1 double bed, 1 sofa-cum-bed, a well equipped kitchen, breakfast, a cook if need be for which you need to pay separately. Alacurity also offers specialised services like personal physiotherapist, nurses, medical equipment(s) and so on.

Tripathi says for a 1-BHK apartment in South Delhi you will have to shell out Rs 5,000 a night, where 3-4 people can stay. A penthouse with 4 beds and for 10 people will cost Rs 15,000 in a posh locality with good parking and porch. Znwar says a 1-BHK will cost Rs 40,000-45,000 a month going up to a maximum of Rs 2 lakh for other sizes of apartment with Alacurity. These firms see more expat tourists than Indian ones.

Medical tourism boom is being witnessed across Asian countries including Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand. But, India loses out becuase of few shortcomings say industry players, like no transparency in billing system, low patient flow, no platform to promote India’s medical tourism, inadequate and limited patient documentation and most importantly availability of accommodation for the patients’ relatives.

Souce : http://www.business-standard.com