There is great scope for medical tourism between Pakistan and India, especially in the domains of children’s cardiac surgery and liver transplants, eminent hematologist and transplant physician Dr Tahir S Shamsi told The News on Monday.
“India is far ahead of us in terms of resources and know-how. With the recent easing of visa restrictions, Pakistan can visit its neighbour for medical tourism.”
“In India, cardiac surgery of children costs about 200,000 to 300,000 Indian rupees whereas the same procedure costs Rs2.5 million in the West,” he informed.
“Similarly, liver transplants in India costs 1.5 million Indian rupees in comparison tp Rs10 million in the West,” he added.
Indian Foreign Minister SM Krishna is reported to have said on Sunday that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh wanted to strengthen friendly relations with Pakistan, and India was against destabilising any country.
The recent talks between Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar and her counterpart, SM Krishna, proved particularly fruitful, as both countries agreed to relax visa restrictions in eight categories.
Dr Sabeen Jalal-Khan, an assistant professor at the Dow University of Health Sciences, said: “In today’s world, where economic constraints make healthcare a luxury for some, appropriate medical treatment is a blessing. For this purpose, medical tourism is gaining popularity.”
She further said medical tourism entailed offering patients a comprehensive package comprising the required treatment for any condition under one roof or organised by one agent.
“Travelling to a new country is a great opportunity on its own. Medical tourism will bring the global medical community together and offer patients a variety of treatment options in addition to promoting global access to medical care.”