Posted by: 1touch | February 7, 2008

Medical Tourism: The Ugly Side

Medical tourism has emerged as a major contributor to the growth of the booming Indian economy. The sector has attracted a number of leading corporate houses and business groups to venture into the field and the Government of India has also extended support to the industry. All these efforts by the private sector and the government have made the industry a huge success, attracting patients from across the world, promoting India as a reliable and low cost medical care center.But this industry also has a flip side, like every coin has. This flip side which is a very ugly one has just got unveiled, by the ‘Gurgaon kidney racket’, which is currently under probe and investigations are revealing mind-blowing facts everyday. As per the media reports, the factors which swelled the racket were the same as those of the booming medical tourism. These factors were namely; low treatment cost, no long queues of patients, adequate stay arrangements for the attendants. They contributed to the swelling of the racket, the other way round.Patients coming to India for getting a kidney are aware of the wide availability of poor kidney donors who sell their kidney for a meager sum of around Rs. 50,000/-, either to pay their debts or under compulsion by such gangs. They are also aware of the corrupt governance system in India, which has a lot of loopholes in it and is not in tune with the present global and national environment scenario having the laws and acts which are outdated. All these factors were identified by Dr. Amit Kumar and his gang and they took full advantage of these opportunities for the growth of their illegal organ trade across the globe.To put a check upon the situation, a two-leg strategy must be adopted. First thing to be done is to spread awareness among the poor masses about the importance of vital organs like the kidney, who sell it for a meager sum of money for any viable or non-viable reason and about the other sources of getting funds for their inevitable needs. Second thing which needs to be done is the drafting of laws, which can plug every loophole in the system used by these smart criminals to get out of the trap and subjecting them to rigorous imprisonment without the intervention of the court once they are found guilty in the course of investigation. The time is high to take an action; else we will loose our global reputation which we have made over the years.



  1. Through media and mass spread education at grassroot level, we need to create awareness amongst vulnerable population to be vigil against such horrible malpractices. NGOs and students can be most effective vehicle of this outreach mass awareness program.
    More clear cut laws are required for medical tourism, which can be a healthy and a strong point of India’s emerging image.

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