India is one of the key players on the medical tourism field. The country boasts of the state-of-the-art equipped clinics and highly skilled staff. Many doctors worked or studied in Western countries, especially in the UK. The medical tourism industry is very important to the Indian economy. Abhijeet Patil of Raja Rani Health Alliance actually said: ‘‘Medical tourism is one of the most lucrative industry as it is anticipated to attract tourists from world over especially the UK, South Africa, Canada and Malaysia, and is expected to grow into a $1.5 billion industry by 2010.’’ RNCOS (an industry and market research company) has conducted the “Opportunities in Medical Tourism in India (2007)” survey. This report shows that the growing medical tourism in India will emerge among the key sources bringing foreign exchange to the country. The country is a very popular destination for medical tourists as it provides quality services for cheap prices compared to prices in the UK for example. The study also says “Improving healthcare infrastructure, growing corporate hospitals such as Wockhardt, Apollo, Escort, expert healthcare professionals, low-cost treatments, nil waiting time, and Ayurvedic treatment are a few of the various other reasons that lure overseas patients to India.”
Indian health sector offers various treatments, among which one of the most popular is laparoscopy. Laparoscopy is a surgery that needs only small incisions (usually 0.5 - 1.5 cm), that is why it is sometimes called “minimally invasive surgery”. A surgeon cuts a small hole into patient’s abdomen and inserts a laparoscope. A laparoscope is a telescopic rod lens system, that is usually connected to a video camera and this equipment allows the doctor to look inside the patient’s body and than perform certain surgeries. Laparoscopy is used e.g. for gastric banding or for gastric bypass, treatments that help obese people eat less. The surgical procedure takes only some 20 minutes. Important fact about the laparoscopy is that the recovery after the surgery takes only a day or a week depending on the concrete surgery.