More NRIs head home now to ‘save their skin’
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Cost-effective skincare, treatments have many foreigners queuing up
With more and more people visiting India from all over the world for their medical requirements, health tourism is fast catching up in the country. Chandigarh is not far behind either, though not many of the patients coming here from abroad are tourists; they are non-resident Indians with roots in the region.
And while the most common treatments offered in India are heart surgery, knee transplant and dental care, Chandigarh sees most patients making a beeline for skin clinics.
On his visit to India this time, UK resident Dileep Shukla wants to consult a dermatologist for his wife who requires sittings for laser therapy to get rid of facial hair and pigmentation. After exploring all possibilities in the UK, the Shuklas decided to avail of the latest technology here at nearly one-tenth of the cost.
"Certainly, the cost of treatment offered here is the biggest attraction for NRIs like us. And the fact that Indian expertise now is at par with the best in the world, it makes all the sense to come here and save money. I have explored the services available in the UK and found that India offers the same treatment at very cheap rates," reasons Shukla, a pharmacist who visits India twice a year.
And the Shuklas aren't alone who have chosen Chandigarh for cosmetic and dermatological treatments. The numbers of NRIs coming here for facelift, botox, hirsuitism (facial hair) and treatment for pigmentation is increasing by the day.
Claiming to have treated nearly 500 NRIs in 2007 alone at his hospital, Dr Vikas Sharma of the National Skin Hospital says the treatments ranging from anti-wrinkle facelifts, botox, hirsuitism and other expensive laser treatments are quite a rage with the patients from overseas.
"There is a vast difference in the rates of the treatments offered in the West and that in India. In most cases, the same treatments offered in countries like the US or the UK cost 10 to 20 times more than what is being charged here," says Dr Sharma.
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