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Cosmetic job: India emerges as attractive spot


Cosmetic job: India emerges as attractive spot

While India is big on the medical tourism front, foreigners are increasingly making a beeline to India for various cosmetic treatments.

And it's not difficult to fathom why. Many of these treatments are not covered under insurance policies in countries like the US because they are not perceived as life threatening. Plus, many procedures are cheaper than their home countries.

"If it's an elective surgery (where the procedure is scheduled in advance and is not a medical emergency) then such patients don't mind coming to India because they are assured of the services of a good doctor and better prices," says Dr Debraj Shome, head, aesthetic surgery, Fortis SL Raheja Hospital, Mumbai.

Nearly 30% of his patients are foreigners. "While people from the US and the UK come in for face lift and neck procedures, patients from neighbouring regions normally come in for correcting debilitating conditions such as eyelid droop and psoriasis," says Dr Shome.

To give a cost comparison, a rhinoplasty (nose job) costs $10,000 in the US while in India, the corresponding figure is $2,000. Face lifts can put one back by $20,000 in the US while in India it could done again at one-fifth of the cost.

The cosmetic surgery market in India is pegged at Rs 240 crore ($52 million) and is growing at 40% per annum.

Nearly 60,000 patients come to India every year for various medical procedures and the cosmetic segment accounts for 10% of this market. To cash in on this booming trend, Apollo Hospitals Group is expanding its cosmetic clinics to Delhi, Kolkata and Ahmedabad in addition to its clinics in Chennai and Hyderabad.

"While many patients come to India for life saving procedures, we also provide cosmetic, dental and preventive healthcare packages that can be availed of by them and their spouses/care givers," says Srinidhi Chidambaram, head, international patients division, Apollo Hospitals, Chennai.


The most sought-after cosmetic services are Botox, fillers, face lift, hair transplant, neck lift and rhinoplasty procedures. Moreover, in some countries there is a long waiting period for an appointment with specialists. "Cosmetic procedures like hair transplant and liposuction are short stay procedures and that's why lot of foreigners come to India," says Anil Maini, executive director, Batra Hospital and Medical Research Centre, New Delhi.

Hospitals apart, even skin clinics are wooing NRI and foreign clients. NRIs are a big client base of Kaya Skin Clinic. Apart from promotional initiatives on sites frequented by NRIs, Kaya also holds coffee mornings at embassy consulates in Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore with an aim to target the expat crowd. Kaya also offers combination package (Botox and fillers) during winter months when lot of NRIs return home.

"Many solutions offered in our clinic are permanent in nature. Moreover, our cosmetic products have lot of takers as these are four to five times cheaper than similar products abroad," says Suvodeep Das, head-marketing, Kaya Skin Clinic.

For dental treatment, patients come for implants, whitening, crown filling, orthodontic procedures and smile correction. The 'dental tourism' market is pegged at Rs 450 crore ($98 million) and to tap the foreign market, the Chennai-based Dentistree has tied up with Parveen Travels.

"Most international patients especially those in West Asia normally avail services of small agents for visa, boarding and lodging. The tie-up with Parveen is to facilitate ease of travel, stay and sightseeing. Also, dental procedures are a daylong process with some requiring repeat visits during a short span of time. So patients can do sightseeing during the in between period," says Dr Mir Ali Reza, executive director, Dentistree. Nearly 20% of the dental chain's patients are foreigners. 




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    Category : Uncategorized Posted on September 13, 2011