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India: Becoming a Global Health Destination
India’s health travel industry is projected at $2 billion by 2012. Government and private sector reports estimate that health travel to India is growing by 30 per cent a year. In 2003, India’s Finance Minister called for India to become a “global health destination”. In support of this goal, India's Ministry of Tourism recently announced India will be doubling the length of its health travel visas "M Visas" from 6 months to 1 year.
India is home to top accredited hospital facilities:
• The Apollo Group includes 7 hospitals, three of which are JCAHO-certified (locations in Hyderabad, New Delhi, and Chennai).
• Escorts Heart Institute and Research Center in Delhi, which is a leading heart surgery center and also offers a pediatric children's healthcare unit.
• The Escorts Heart Institute and Research Center in New Delhi performs nearly 15,000 heart operations every year with a post-surgery mortality rate of 0.8 percent – less than half of most US hospitals.
India's education system produces an estimated 20,000 to 30,000 doctors and nurses each year.
Hip resurfacing surgery, which dramatically shortens recovery time over traditional hip replacement surgery, has been practiced in India for longer than the US. The first instance of a U.S. national traveling to India to receive this surgery was 2005; since then, thousands of people have made the journey.