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City needs a booster shot to bring in more medical tourists

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Despite having internationally renowned medical practitioners in various fields of specialisation, Tiruchy has not been able to attract medical tourists in large numbers. According to doctors, a lack of infrastructure development and not enough exposure to advanced treatment methods have kept away medical visitors from he district. Medical tourism refers to the act of travelling to a foreign country to receive medical care. India has become one of the leading countries in the world for medical tourism as it provides advanced treatment at a much
lesser cost compared to other developed countries. Though visitors from other States come to the district fro treatment, foreign medical tourists are few and far between. Speaking to Express, Dr S Sankaranarayanan, Dental Consultant, oral laser surgeon and regenerative therapist, said, "Compared to Coimbatore and Chennai, medical tourism is nil in Tiruchy. Those who are treated here are Persons of Indian Origin (PIO) and not NRIs. Though there are many well trained and experienced medical practitioners in the city, the lack of medical infrastructure is an issue, especially when compared to Coimbatore and Chennai." He stated that as many hospitals in other districts are high-lighting their capabilities, interest in Tiruchy is low. But if emerging medical trends like the platelet rich plasma (PRP) treat-ment are promoted properly, there are definite possibilities of making Tiruchy an international hub for regenerative medicine." Doctors in Tiruchy are well-versed in regenerative medicine methods and on par with those globally.

Sankaranarayanan said about 2,000 American patients are prepared to visit Tiruchy to receive PRP treatment due to lower costs but are not coming for the lack of infrastructure. If Factors that are paramount to medical tourism •Facilities and list of the successively operated cases •Exposure to advanced medical treatments provided in the hospitals In districts •Seri es of research articles published by the medical practitioner •Promoting newer and trending medical treating methods
proper infrastructure is in place, medical tour ism in Tiruchy could witness a boom.

Speaking of medical tourism in relation to organ transplants in Tiruchy, Dr V R Ravi, Consult-ant Orthopaedic Surgeon and specialist in regenerative medicine, Tiruchy, stated while medical tourism in Tiruchy appears to be low compared to Chennai, there are about one or two pa-tients per month from other countries visiting for medical consultations. However, Tiruchy is not a destination of choice for surgery and advanced treatment. "If infrastructure and facilities are developed, medical tourism can in 'AIIMS In central TN would increase exposure' Dr M A Aleem, former vice-principal of government medical college and president of the Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry Association of Neurologists. Tiruchy stated that the setting up of All India Institutes of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) shall the increase the medical exposure to the city and also the Tiruchy Airport should have the international flights from the more countries can help in increasing the medical tourism in Tiruchy.
crease in the city," he said.

 Dr S Vel Aravind, Nephrologist and Transplant Physician, Apollo Hospital, Tiruchy, said, "There has been considerable growth in medical tourism in Tiruchy for organ transplants in recent times. People come from Sri Lanka, Mauritius and other Asian countries for treatment. About seven organ trans-plants were done in 2016 and fol-lowing GST implementation, the count will gradually rise in forth-coming years." It is now for the government to ready the infra-structure to allow medical tourist to come to Tiruchy for the best possible treatment.
Source: epaper. . new indianexpress com//c/21805643 

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