This could be India’s hot new export sector. One of the pioneers of low-cost surgery in India, Dr Devi Shetty of Narayana Health has decided to take his model overseas, though in a different manner. Given the stringent US regulations that result in higher costs, Shetty’s Health City Cayman Islands will be close enough for American patients to access but will not have to comply with US regulations. The Cayman facility, according to media reports, will offer a 30% discount to US rates to begin with and, depending on how things work out, this could even increase.
Apart from the team of Indian doctors, technicians and nurses who will man the facility, Shetty plans extensive use of telemedicine, as a result of which doctors in Shetty’s Bangalore facilities will now offer real-time consults for US patients. If Shetty’s plans work out, there are several other low-cost pioneering Indian hospital chains that could follow suit—Aravind Eye Care and Manipal Health are the obvious names that come to mind. Watch this space.