Spine Surgery Medical Value Travelers from Malawi to India
It is estimated that the annual global incidents of Spinal Cord injury (SCI) is 40 to 80 cases per million population. Every year, around the world, between 250 000 and 500 000 people suffer a (SCI), according to a factsheet by the World Health Organization (WHO). Up to 90 percent of these cases are due to traumatic causes, though the proportion of non-traumatic spinal cord injury appears to be growing.
An unhealthy spine interferes with this entire system, causing a host of unwelcome health issues such as pain, numbness, and weakness in the arms and legs, impaired breathing and digestion and impaired control of the bowel and bladder. Often a spine can suffer a fracture, can bend abnormally or can have a tumor. Some of the most common spine surgery procedures are:
- Artificial Spine Lumbar Disc Replacement
- Cervical Spine Surgery
- Lumbar Laminectomy for Spine or Spine Decompression
- Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery
- Spinal Fusion
- Spine Tumor Surgery
- Spine Osteotomy
- Spinal Instrumentation
Whether open surgery or MISS (Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery), the spine can be accessed from different directions. These are referred to as surgical approaches:
- Anterior approach
- Posterior approach
- Lateral approach
Special Services For Malawi Patients
Special and individualized care – We ensure fast and efficient services, which include immediate diagnostic and treatment procedures with no waiting lists. There is 24/7 staff for full patient support services, who are well trained to handle the most complex situations. Depending on the urgency, there are special consultations for scans, clinical investigations organized for Malawian medical tourists. Even if you are not insured, we ascertain that you are equally benefitted; and we don’t need any doctor’s referral to cater to you. We attend each and every Malawian with supreme care and patience.
Special packages – One thing that comes into consideration and is obviously very crucial while choosing a treatment destination, is the cost factor. We understand this and ensure that our patients are happy and supremely satisfied with the pricing of the treatments and procedures, they are looking for. We specially offer very cost effective packages for medical tourists from Malawi; customize the packages keeping in mind that patients are coming from all sections of the society.
Free second opinion – When it comes to illness and related procedures, certainly there can be some doubts in your mind; regarding the proficiency of the doctor or about the clinical investigation. So that you have no doubts regarding these factors and have full trust in us, we can arrange for free second opinion in our empanelled hospitals. This will surely help in clearing your dilemma and cement the trust in our relationship further.
Language Assistance – It is very important that the medical personnel are capable of handling this language issue, as health issues need to be communicated accurately and in a very detailed manner. So, we look after this issue by arranging expert translators/interpreters so that the requirements of our Malawian friends reach the doctor properly and vice versa.
Quick visa assistance – We make the visa process absolutely uncomplicated and hassle free. Our 24/7 visa assistance is at your disposal to look after all your queries and needs related to visa. We make it as simple as possible so that there is no time wastage, keeping in mind your health issues and the associated urgency.
Logistics Support – We are with you right from the moment you arrive at the airport. Our staff is there to receive the medical tourists at the airport, ensure that the guesthouse/hotel is perfect for the travelers. Further, we monitor your admission formalities and keep a detailed track your treatment process at the hospital – either in person or over phone – as and when required. Also, we provide regular medical updates about you to the sponsor of the treatment such as, the insurance agency, charity organization, your employer, etc.
Special food – Every health issue, its treatment and the suggested procedure comes along with its own dietary schedule and restrictions. We make sure that the food issues and such restrictions are well taken care of, ensuring your good health. We have special tie-ups with local food chains; customized diet plans are proffered keeping in mind speedy recovery and for better outcomes for the Malawian patients.
Follow up services – After any treatment/procedure, the most important phase is the follow up. Without this, the procedure is considered incomplete and can lead to a relapse. Follow up is important both for the patient as well as the doctor/surgeon. We ensure that there are no obstacles or interruptions in this phase and organize follow up services even after the patient is back in his own country, after his successful treatment in India.
Clinical camps – In order to create awareness about various health issues as well as to provide free and easily accessible services, clinical camps are organized in Malawi. There are doctors and assistant staff available in such camps to guide Malawians regarding many health issues and associated precautions.
Spine surgery: India in a more advantageous position
In the past few years, medical research, education and technology in India are quite advanced, to the extent of robotic surgery. In the area of Spine and Neurosurgery, India has excellent medical services and the doctors use the most sophisticated techniques in invasive surgeries and micro-surgical treatments. India can proudly claim to offer the most comprehensive Spinal and Neurological surgeries and cater not only to the domestic population but also to the international patients.
Low cost surgeries and zero patient waiting lists are the main features which attract the medical tourists. Further, with over 99 percent of success rate at the leading hospitals, Spine specialists and surgeons with outstanding academic qualifications, along with tremendous experience, India has become one of the favorable destinations for medical value travelers. According to the Neuro Spinal Surgeons Association (NSSA), approximately a quarter-million different types of Spine Surgeries are performed in India each year, half on the upper and half on the lower part of the spine. High quality investigation is done to find out the exact ailment, using world-class infrastructure and equipment. It would, therefore, be hard to find a neurological or spinal ailment that Indian Neurosurgeons have not encountered or treated.
Critical shortage of Healthcare expertise in Malawi
A WHO report furthers states that people with a SCI are two to five times more likely to die prematurely than people without a SCI, with worse survival rates in low and middle-income countries, where access to required healthcare attention is limited.
Malawi has been facing a nightmarish situation in the arena of healthcare, for years now. According to the Journal of Global Health, Malawi is one of the poorest countries in the world with some of the worst health statistics in the world. With just the basics of healthcare facilities, patients do not have much hope when it comes to complex surgeries. There is uneven distribution of healthcare providers and they are significantly understaffed due to neglect and underfunding. The finest medical staff has emigrated looking for better placements. Most of the medical needs are taken care by the Paramedics and Clinical Officers, who do not have adequate medical facilities and qualifications to cater to the ailing population of the country.
The situation is even shoddier for complex treatments such as Spine surgeries. According to the mid-term review of the Health Sector Development Program, Malawi has 0.12 healthcare workers for every 1,000 people (totaling doctors, clinical officers and medical assistants. Further, there is lack of knowledge about these diseases; poor distribution of medical supplies and the disparity between urban and rural areas are all responsible for the inaccessibility of healthcare services to the population. The few practicing surgeons dictate and are able to command overprized rates for conducting brain and spine surgeries. This eventually worsens the situation for most of the Malawian population, apart from the well off Malawians. But controlling the payments of these experts could make them emigrate as well. Therefore, for their surgical needs, Malawians have to look for places such as India where such surgeries are readily available and at affordable costs. The hospitals and medical staff in India have the right expertise and state-of-the-art equipment to conduct even the most complex spine surgical procedures. With a large pool of skilled doctors, support staff and tailored treatment packages, it is ensured that the patients receive individualized care.
Inflow of Spine surgery patients from Malawi to India
Data from the Medical Association of Malawi (MAM) shows that Schistosomal Myelopathy and Spinal Tuberculosis are quite prevalent in Malawi. Unfortunately, only 46 percent of Malawians live within a 5 km radius of any health center hence timely treatment is not possible mostly. Owing to the acute shortage of good healthcare facilities in their country, many Malawians patients opt for neighboring countries to get treated. Many travel to neighboring African countries such as South Africa, Mozambique, etc.; some travel to countries like India, Singapore, Dubai, etc. Amongst these, India is in a far more beneficial position for providing low cost or affordable treatments. Furthermore, Indian doctors and hospitals are fully accelerated towards eradicating every kind of Spine disorders. For patients, often with limited means and resources and language barriers, it’s a big leap of faith and relief.
Thus, India has been welcoming and treating numerous medical value travelers from Malawi since 2010. The lower cost of healthcare in India compared to USA, UK and South Africa is the main aspect that catches the attention of Malawian patients. The findings by International Medical Travel Journal (IMTJ) show that the average range of savings in India is 65-90 percent.
Spine procedures remain one of the top procedures for which international patients travel to India. Cost undeniably is the key driver in capturing the market share, but quality of the healthcare, internationally-accredited hospitals and expertise of the Indian surgeons are the other key drivers. Even if India were to take about 10 percent share away from South Africa, about 2,000 Malawians would visit India every year. Out of that, about 200 would be visiting for spine surgeries alone. The Medical Tourism Market report says that the number of medical tourists coming to the country for medical purposes was 200,000 in 2016. The continuous inflow of such patients requires collaboration, continual and focused efforts from the major hospitals in India, and Malawian doctors, along with the Ministry of Health and Child Care in Malawi and medical value travel companies in both the countries.
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 spine surgery 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 spine 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 Malawi 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 Malawi to India
One would need a medical visa if he/she is travelling to India for his/her treatment. The availability, criteria and eligibility of getting a medical visa matters. Hence we provide all the information about the medical visa lest it becomes tricky or confusing.
The High Commission of India, Lilongwe in Malawi, the primary considerations to grant a medical visa includes the serious ailments such as congenital disorders, cardiac problems, neurosurgery, joint replacements, plastic surgery, renal disorders, organ transplantation, ophthalmic disorders, and radiotherapy and gene therapy. The list of treatments is non-exhaustive.
- The sole purpose of travel should be undergoing medical treatment in India.
- The applicant should seek medical treatments at reputed/specialized/recognized hospitals in India.
- Two medical attendants are allowed to travel with the patient which could be his/her family members, associated or relatives.
- Filled-in and signed visa application form
- Two recent colour photographs
- Letter of invitation from an approved Hospital /Doctor in India
- Medical documents establishing the need for taking medical treatment in India
- Proof of availability of sufficient funds for stay in India including the expenses for medical treatment by producing documents such as Bank statement, Salary certificate, sponsorship letter etc.
A Medical/Medical Attendant visa is normally issued within 3 working days, inclusive of the day on which application is made.
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.
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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 Malawi 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 Malawi to India
You can book the flight tickets for travel from Malawi (Lilongwe) to India (New Delhi) through various flights. Air India Flight is India’s first international airline providing luxurious air services to the international passengers at economical costs and discounted fares. It offers efficient service and good value for money.
The following are few flight travel details from Malawi to India
- Lilongwe, Malawi (LLW) to New Delhi, India (DEL)
- Blantyre, MI (BLZ) to Mumbai, IN (BOM)
- Lilongwe, MI (LLW) to Chennai, IN (MAA)
- Blantyre, MI (BLZ) to Bangalore, IN (BLR)
Common Flights to Malawi to India
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