Medical Tourism in Delhi is booming day by day and the major clientele base comes from Afghanistan. Every month, we do IVF [in vitro fertilization] for around 50 patients from Afghanistan. They also come for other infertility-related procedures. And in the peak [winter] season [when the weather is more comfortable], we have 60-70 patients a month, said a medical tour operator in Delhi. The trend of IVF treatment is not only restricted to Afghanistan, a major chunk of patients come from western hemisphere as well. The reason behind infertility can be certainly attributed to changing lifestyle in the western countries wherein most women conceive in their late 30’s. Apart from U.S and European countries, much of the medical tourist influx in India comes from Muslim nations in Africa and the Middle East. Besides low cost which is a major factor, the cultural connections with India make Muslim tourists feel at home. Reputable clinics offer a high standard of care for a small fraction of the cost of IVF in the West.
A typical IVF procedure, for instance, runs to $3,000 in India, compared with $8,000 in the US or Europe. And patients receive more attention from doctors, said Dheerendra Singh, a local medical tour operator. As per India’s Outlook magazine, fertility experts like Dr. Kabir Bannerjee have treated many patients hailing from Iran, Iraq, Tanzania and Uzbekistan. Overall, we see [medical tourism] growth of about 15-20 percent annually, and I believe roughly the same kind of number holds for IVF. But we’re seeing a larger number of Muslim people than previously, including Muslims from Arabic countries and Muslims from countries like Nigeria and Tanzania and so on., another medical tourism firm. Since IVF treatments are time consuming at times, the low cost of living and easy availability of variety of foods facilitate tourists to prolong their stay in Delhi. Some medical tour operators bring these tourists in contact with local landlords through which they avoid exorbitant hotel prices.