Tribune News Service
Jalandhar, April 17
Jalandhar has emerged as the Asia’s ‘biggest’ medicare hub with over 800 super-specialty, multi-specialty centres, nursing homes and clinics — largest on per capita basis as compared to any other city of Asia.
Besides catering to people of Punjab, people suffering from serious ailments and hailing from J&K and western parts of Himachal also come here for treatment.
Moreover, nearly 40-45% patients who come here for treatment comprise NRIs from the USA, Canada, the UK, Italy, Germany, Australia and New Zealand. Of late, patients from Pakistan and Afghanistan have also started coming to the city for treatment. The cost factor is one of the major reasons for the NRIs to come here for treatment. If some medical procedure costs around Rs 10 lakh in Indian currency in the West, it would not cost them more than Rs 2 lakh here.
“Moreover, the NRIs have an advantage of talking to their doctor in their native language and support of their Punjab-based relatives. Besides this, as compared to the West, there is no waiting list for patients in any big or medium-scale hospital. So, when it comes to medical tourism in India or Asia, Jalandhar turns out to be their number one choice,” said Dr SPS Virk, scientific director, Virk IVF Centre.
The biggest factor behind the emergence of Jalandhar as the hub for medicare is availability of quality medicare facilities at reasonable rates. The facilities pertain to cardiac ailments, In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) treatment, spinal surgery, cataract, dental, hip replacement and prostate problems. The Jalandhar unit of Indian Medical Association (IMA) has around 2,500 members on its rolls in the city alone.
Dr Raman Chawla, managing director, Apex Hospital, said, “There are over 20 super-specialty hospitals situated within 2 km of Bhagwan Mahavir Marg, starting from the BMC Chowk to Kapurthala Chowk.” Like New York’s Wall Street, London’s Fleet Street, Bhagwan Mahavir Marg has earned a reputation of being the ‘Medicare Street’ of Punjab, said Dr Chawla while talking to The Tribune.
Dr Harish Bhardwaj, president, IMA (Jalandhar unit), said the city started shaping up as a major medical hub of not only India but Asia around 20 years ago when top professionals had started setting up their multi-specialty and super-specialty centres in the city.
“There are around 3,000 members of the IMA in Jalandhar district. Of this, around 2,500 are from the city and 250 of these 2,500 doctors are serving as government doctors and the rest are working in the private sector,” he said.
Bone specialist Dr Jashneev Kapoor and his wife Dr Pooja Kapoor, a child specialist, said there was no state-of-the-art equipment or technology which was not available in Jalandhar now.
He said if all nursing homes operating in the city and its outskirts are included, it will cross the 800-mark.