Complex Gastrointestinal Tract Surgeries Medical Value Travelers from Zambia to India
Gastroenterology is the study of the normal function and diseases of the Esophagus, Stomach, Small Intestine, Colon and Rectum, Pancreas, Gallbladder, Bile ducts and Liver. It involves a detailed understanding of the physiology of the Gastrointestinal organs including the movement of material through the stomach and intestine (motility), the digestion and absorption of nutrients into the body, removal of waste from the system, and the function of the liver as a digestive organ. According to the World Journal of Gastroenterology, Gastrointestinal and Liver diseases impose a substantial burden, and are responsible for approximately 8 million deaths per year worldwide.
Gastroenterologists need to have a detailed understanding of the physiology of all the above mentioned organs as well as motility through the Intestines and Gastrointestinal Tract in order to maintain a healthy digestion, absorption of nutrients, removal of waste and metabolic processes. Gastroenterologists specialize in the evaluation, diagnosis, management, and treatment of the following symptoms and conditions:
- Gall stones
- Hiatal Hernias
- Peptic Ulcer disease
- Biliary Tract disease
A Gastroenterologist is a physician with dedicated training and unique experience in the management of diseases of the Gastrointestinal Tract and Liver.
Some of the Gastro-intestinal procedures are:
- Gastroenterology & Hepatology
- Upper GI Endoscopy Colorectal Neoplasia
- ERCP (Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangio Pancreatography)
- Sclerotherapy and band ligation of varices
- Esophageal dilations
- Balloon treatment for Achalasia cardia
- Prosthesis placement
- Extraction of stone from CBD
- Stenting of CBD and pancreatic ducts
Complex Gastro-intestinal tract surgeries: Advantages in India
Experts from Indian Institute of Gastroenterology say that Indian doctors have the breadth of knowledge that they have seen and treated every possible disorder affecting the GI tract; and the depth of knowledge to define the most appropriate course of action needed for those conditions. Not only this, the hospitals have world class infrastructure to complement the know-how of these surgeons. In India, a Gastroenterologist must first complete a three-year Internal Medicine residency and is then eligible for additional specialized training (fellowship) in Gastroenterology. This fellowship training is generally 2-3 years long and an intense, rigorous program where future Gastroenterologists learn directly from nationally recognized experts in the field and develop a detailed understanding of gastrointestinal diseases.
Owing to such intense level of training, the Indian Gastroenterologists can skillfully treat any medical condition related to the GI Tract. Patients from all over the world come to India for complex GI tract surgeries because the treatment is pocket-friendly but the quality of the healthcare is excellent. According to the Indian Medical Association (IMA), there is usage of advanced tools for surgeries to treat GI tract disorders ranging from Cysts, Cancer, Hernia, Gall stones and much more. The use of latest technologies in India meets the international standards and the waiting time is nil and so a lot of international patients visit India for successful GI tract surgeries.
Thanks to the latest information technology, it’s so easy to get connected to any place around the globe. Seeking health care abroad is, therefore, an additional option available to such patients. Medical value travel industry has been working vigorously with the governmental bodies to make travelling to India for surgical procedures as smooth as possible for the international patients.
Lack of Healthcare expertise in Zambia
Statistics from Zambia’s Health Ministry shows that the normal doctor-patient ratio is 1 doctor per 5,000 patients but Zambia has one of the most abnormal doctor-patient ratios, which now stands at 1 doctor per 12,000 patients. Even though basic healthcare amenities are guaranteed in the constitution of Zambia, the ground reality is actually opposite. Zambia is among the sub-Saharan countries with extremely high rate of parasite infections like Bacterial & Protozoal Diarrhea, Hepatitis A and Typhoid Fever, according to reports from Zambia Medical Association. Lack of training, cost, and availability of resources and low maintenance of equipment are some unique challenges that Zambia has been facing acutely for years now. The best medical staff has emigrated due to lack of good remuneration and refusal to accept posting in rural areas. The remainder medical staff does not have adequate medical facilities to even provide the basic healthcare needs for the ailing population in the country. The situation is far worse for complex GI tract surgeries, with lack of expert doctors and long waiting periods.
Thus, the handful medical practitioners are able to command premium rates for conducting GI tract surgeries. With almost 80 percent of the population living in poverty, Zambians can barely afford the treatment on time but for the prosperous Zambians, who can receive the care they need. But curbing the remuneration of these experts would mean they would emigrate. Therefore, for their surgical needs, Zambians have to look for places such as India, where such surgeries are readily available and at affordable prices.
Gastrointestinal surgery patients from Zambia to India
A study done by the World Gastroenterology Organization (WGO) that Zambia is swarmed with such disorders but Zambians don’t have access to the treatment and facilities. Long queues at clinics and hospitals are a normal occurrence in Zambia. That’s why patients from Zambia have been traveling abroad for medical treatments for years. Many travel to neighboring African countries such as South Africa, Mozambique, etc.; some travel to countries as far away as India, Singapore, Dubai, etc. India has received several thousand medical value travelers from Zambia since 2010. The lower cost of healthcare in India compared to US and South Africa is the main aspect that attracts Zambians to travel to India. A surgery could cost as lower as 30 percent in India as it would in South Africa. The findings by International Medical Travel Journal (IMTJ) show that the average range of savings in India is 65-90 percent.
The growth potential of medical value travel business from Zambia to India for GI tract surgical procedures can be estimated. Complex GI tract surgical procedures remain one of the top procedures for which international patients travel to India. One can estimate about 10 percent patients visit India for such surgical procedures. If 2,000 Zambians visit India every year, about 200 would be visiting for complex GI tract surgeries alone. Estimates are that about 17,000 Zambians travel to South Africa for their medical treatments every year.
Cost would surely be the key point of attraction for Zambians, but quality of healthcare services, brand name of various hospitals in India and the proficiency of the surgeons are the other drivers. With numbers this big, one would wonder why the medical value travel companies and hospitals in India are not salivating like the proverbial Pavlovian dog! The projected growth potential would be eye-popping for marketing departments at medical value travel companies and hospitals in India. Data by the International Journal of Health Management and Tourism (IJHMT), the number of medical tourists coming to the country for medical purposes was 200,000 in 2016.
The hospitals and medical staff in India have the right expertise and state-of-the-art equipment to conduct even the most complex GI tract surgeries. India has the right attributes: expert doctors, advanced equipment and most importantly low cost to ensure more Zambians travel to India for complex GI tract surgeries and other medical procedures, to bridge the gap between the diseases and the required treatments.
About Indian Hospitals
India offers some of the best medical treatments in the world. The private hospitals in India have excellent reputation and our healthcare sector has sustained enormous boom in recent years. Despite the prejudices about healthcare in developing countries, rest assured that the laparoscopy hospitals in India are at the forefront of medical technology and are well equipped with the modern state of the art technology and highly qualified and experienced laparoscopic surgeons. Indian doctors are considered the best in the world with the high level of surgical expertise that evolves from many years of training.
Hygiene in private hospitals in India is excellent and the Zambia patients seeking cardiac surgery are screened for HIV and Hbs Ag antibodies to prevent the transmission of communicable diseases and incidence of MRSA is minimal. The operation theatres have laminar air flow installed and gaining the ISO9001 standardisation, a voluntary standardisation run b a nongovernmental body where the hospitals must pass rigorous tests to be certified is increasingly becoming popular in the hospitals and the clinics.
Medical Visa Information for Patients from Zambia to India
- Visa applicants may apply at: https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa/. High Commission does not accept online payments for Visa, Passport and Consular services.
- The High Commission of India accepts visa applications including from Diplomatic/Official passport holders at the High Commission on working days between 0900 hrs to 1100 hrs.
- Visa fee is payable in CASH at the High Commission. Facility for payment by credit card/debit card is not available.
- Non-Zambian nationals, who are casual visitors and not normally resident in Zambia should apply for an Indian visa in the country of their residence or country of origin.
- For Business visas, invitation letters from the relevant Indian company and the recommendation letter from the Zambia Company are required.
- The validity of all visas is counted from the date of issue.
- Your passport must have a minimum validity of six months and two blank pages at the time of submission of visa application.
- The visa fee charged is non-refundable regardless of the outcome of the application or the applicant withdrawing the application after submission or if the visa cannot be processed within the timeframe desired by applicants.
- For visa-related queries, kindly drop an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Online Submission of Visa Application Form
- Visa applicants may apply at https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa/ and complete the application online after carefully going through the instructions listed on the web page.
- Please take a print out of the duly filled online form and submit a signed copy directly at the High Commission.
- Applications are to be submitted along with a recent passport-size colour photograph (size 2" x 2", white background), applicable visa fee and two clear pages in your passport. Take note of requirements of additional documentation for business or employment visas. All visa applications should be accompanied by copy of personal particular page of the passport and a copy of the EP/WP/NRC/SP.
In case of any difficulty and for clarifications regarding online submission of the visa application, please contact the Consular Officer at email@example.com
Visa invitation letter
When you are applying for a medical visa, a visa invitation letter is required. A visa invitation letter is a formal document that is sent to the patient from the Indian hospital that sanctions his/her medical treatment in that hospital in India.
This also serves the purpose of a proof that the patient has indeed contacted with Indian hospital and will be having his or her treatment there. The visa invitation letter consists of the patient details, details of his/her ailment, treatment procedure and duration of the treatment involved. Hence it is an important and mandatory document required during the application and for the sanction of a medical visa to the patient.
Second Secretary (Political, Information, Culture & ITEC): Mr. S.S. Barwal
No.1 Pandit Nehru Road,
Loangacres, P.O. Box. 32111,
firstname.lastname@example.org (High Commissioner)
email@example.com (Head of Chancery)
firstname.lastname@example.org (Political and Cultural)
email@example.com (Consular Section)
firstname.lastname@example.org (Commercial and Development Cooperation)
email@example.com (Information and ITEC)
VaccinationDo I Need A Yellow Fever Vaccine for India?
If you are coming to India from a country where yellow fever is present you are required to show proof of immunization. The patients travelling from Zambia to India for getting their medical treatment should enclose a valid Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificate that becomes valid only 10 days after the inoculation.
- Flight & Travel from Zambia to India
- Lusaka, ZA (LUN) to New Delhi, India (DEL)
- Livingstone, ZA (LVI) to Mumbai, IN (BOM)
- Mfuwe, ZA (MFU) to Chennai, IN (MAA)
- Ndola, ZA (NLA) to Bangalore, IN (BLR)