Traveling for leisure, solo traveling, traveling for business, traveling for a wedding but have you ever came across something called traveling for medical treatment? Yes! Medical Tourism has grown as one of the top industries. In India, it is growing with each passing year. It has been estimated that The Indian medical tourism industry has 18% CAGR in 2019 which is 18% of the global medical tourism market share. Patients from out of the country and from one state to another inside India are traveling to get the best of medical services and treatments for their wellbeing. Lately, the meaning of medical tourism has been changed. Patients are now choosing a destination that offers a complete package of quality world-class treatment, ease of communication, no language barriers, and affordable traveling and residing as well as competitive pricing. India falls in the perfect sync with all the preferences. Patients inside as well as outside India are coming to selected hospitals for their treatment and healing process along with some recreation post that. Here are 6 reasons why India is being preferred for medical tourism.
The treatment cost of a certain disease is way higher in developed countries than in developing countries like India. It has been estimated that the patients can save up to 50% of the cost in India than they might spend if they traveled to a developed western country for the same treatment. The surgery charges, the hospital stay, the doctor charges, and the traveling expenses are all affordable. Even the stay near the hospitals are affordable is compared to western countries.
2-Availability of affordable hotel rooms near hospitals
The patients who travel for medical tourism always travel with some attendants or with their partners. Any treatment demands considerable days of stay post-surgery. Due to the continuous growth of medical tourism, there has been an increase in booking of hotels nearby to the hospitals. Most of the complicated surgeries for Medical Tourism are happening in metro cities like Delhi and Mumbai. Hence, people are actively booking hourly hotel in Delhi and also booking hotels in Mumbai. For instance, you can easily find good affordable hotels near AIIMS Delhi where you and your attendant can stay post-treatment. In case you are traveling with your partner, there are many couple friendly hotels available at affordable prices. During the surgery also, your friends and relatives can stay at hotel rooms on an hourly basis. Before you plan on staying, make sure to check the hotel rooms for proper hygiene and sanitization through different ways.
India is an emerging country and it gives a lot of importance in having a strong yet updated healthcare system. One of the ways to achieve that is by having modern medical technologies and recent diagnostic equipment in the hospitals. The primary and secondary treatment facilities are getting stronger in India with each passing day. Almost all the major government and private hospitals in major cities in India are having the latest technologically advanced equipment.
4-Quality of healthcare
Why would a patient from western countries like the USA and UK visit India for surgery if that quality is not par with that of the western countries? The services offered by India in the matter of healthcare is one of the best in the world and in a very considerable rate also. The doctors, nurses, and paramedical staff are highly skilled and equipped to do major life-saving surgeries. India has a huge pool of healthcare workers with adequate specialization and expertise. Almost all kinds of major surgeries like heart surgery, eye surgery, orthopedic surgery, knee transplant, bone marrow transplant and hip resurfacing, etc. are conducted in India with a higher success rates. Even the paramedical staff and nurses are highly skilled to take post-operative care of the patients.
5-Traditional healthcare therapies
Ayurveda, which is originated in India around 5000 years back is still going strong in so many different levels in healing the patients. Apart from Ayurveda, there is another traditional healthcare treatment like Homoeopathy, naturopathy, yoga, and Unani which are contributing to a significant level in the growth of medical tourism in India. The AYUSH industry is worth 10 billion dollars in 2019 and is still growing. Many foreigners come to India for an extended period of stay to heal mentally and physically through Ayurveda and Yoga. Many of the ayurvedic treatments and therapies happen at Kerala, especially in and around Kochi. There are many affordable hotels in Kochi where you can stay during your sessions as well.
6-No language Barrier
In India, most of the verbal communication happens through the language of English. India is claimed to be the second-largest English-speaking country. Apart from this, all the hospitals have multi-language interpreters employed to help someone who cannot speak English. Most of the patients from Africa are benefited from these services.
With the recent pandemic of coronavirus, India has emerged as one of the few countries which has managed to control the immediate spread of COVID19. This shows the quality of services, planning, and community health India has got. The government and the healthcare industry collaborated and managed to control the sudden initial rise of cases. The initial death rate is also controlled to a considerable rate. It is extremely difficult to fight with a deadly known virus in a population of over 1.3 billion population and India has been doing pretty good so far. Post COVID19, the position of India in the global healthcare industry will be very high. This will, in turn, will increase the no of patients traveling for medical tourism in India. More patients’ means the services will be made even more robust and well planned. That hotel rooms near by to the hospitals are expected to grow even more. Hence, this entire industry will boost the economy of the country.
India is a hub for medical tourism and a collection of various healthcare services. The country has provided world-class services to international medical tourists visiting India for several years. The hospital offers world-class infrastructure, expert doctors, cost-effective treatment, and exceptional hospitality.
Apart from that, it has grown to be among the most populous English-speaking countries. It is quickly adapting to new technologies as they emerge. The hospitals in this area are accredited by JCI (Joint Commission International) and NABH (National Accreditation Board for Hospitals and Healthcare Providers).
Traveling to another country for medical treatment was once considered a significant undertaking. However, people in every country now have access to all information about hospitals, doctors, and hotels, among other things. It has become much easier to travel to India for medical treatment. Not only that, but the country has created a separate visa category (Medical Visa) solely for people who come to receive healthcare services.
Here are the top medical tourism destinations in India:
New Delhi – India’s national capital is New Delhi. It is home to several prestigious universities and colleges. Delhi is paving the way for more recently graduated students to excel. As a result, Delhi has become one of India’s most popular medical tourism destinations.
Connectivity – Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi is one of the busiest international airports for domestic and international civilian air traffic. It is the busiest airport in India and South Asia and is located 16 kilometers from the city center. The railway station is approximately 4.8 kilometers from the airport. It is also connected to the 8-lane Delhi-Gurgaon expressway.
Chennai – A sound education system has always been an essential component of Chennai. It is home to many prestigious colleges, in addition to good schools. There are numerous research institutes in Chennai, including the National Tuberculosis Research Institute, the National Research Institute of Epidemiology, the Central Electronics Engineering Research Institute, and many others. As a result, a solid foundation of advanced infrastructure and highly educated and skilled surgeons has been established. In addition to good schools, it is home to many prestigious colleges. In Chennai, there are numerous research institutes, including The National Research Institute of Tuberculosis, The National Research Institute of Epidemiology, The Central Electronics Engineering Research Institute, and many others. As a result, a solid foundation of advanced infrastructure and highly educated and skilled surgeons has been established.
Connectivity -Chennai International Airport is located in Meenambakkam, 21 km from the city center. After New Delhi and Mumbai, this airport is the third busiest in terms of international traffic. Patients undergoing cancer treatment in India frequently require a more extended stay and may require a medical visa extension. Several foreign consulates in Chennai can assist you if you have any other problems during your medical visit.
Mumbai – It is one of India’s most important cities. The location is a focal point when establishing business and other events in the healthcare system. Mumbai is a vibrant city with friendly people and warm hospitality. Because the city is densely populated, many private and public hospitals exist. The majority of the hospitals meet international standards. The majority of the staff is fluent in English. Mumbai is not only a significant business and tourism destination, but it also has a fair representation of India’s urban healthcare sector due to the high standards of healthcare facilities. The city is one of the top destinations in India for cutting-edge medical treatment.
Connectivity – After New Delhi, Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport is the second heaviest international passenger traffic. There are three operational terminals spread across.
Bangalore – Medical tourism, according to experts, has much potential in Bangalore. It serves a large number of patients from all over the world. Millions of tourists from all over the world visit the city. Numerous medical institutions offer students education, training, and treatment at reasonable prices. Many non-profit organizations are funded by organizations that provide cost-effective treatment. The hospitals are internationally accredited and employ reputable doctors. Staying in the city is also a pleasurable experience, with all amenities at the touch of a button.
Connectivity – Kempegowda International Airport is a major international airport in Bangalore. It covers 4000 acres and is located approximately 40 kilometers from the city.
What role does Global care play in your treatment?
Global care is the largest and oldest medical value travel company in Asia. We are assisting patients from all over the world in receiving the best care in India. We help you select an appropriate hospital, review the doctor’s profile, and obtain treatment at a reasonable cost with a comfortable stay, the best possible treatment, and a quick recovery. Furthermore, Global care will assist you in getting the Visa Invitation Letter from the hospital and in the visa application process. We ensure that every step of your journey is flawlessly managed.
What is Medical Tourism?
Medical tourism is the practice of visiting another nation to acquire treatment or other healthcare services. It involves individuals seeking medical care outside their home country, often due to factors such as lower costs, quicker access to treatment, availability of specialized procedures, or higher quality care.
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The idea of medical tourism has been more well-known in recent years as travel has gotten easier to acquire and healthcare prices have increased in some nations. For a variety of medical procedures, from routine check-ups and elective operations to more involved treatments like organ transplants or cancer therapy, people may opt to travel abroad.
The main reasons individuals engage in medical tourism include:
Cost savings: Medical treatments in some countries can be significantly less expensive compared to one’s home country, even when factoring in the travel costs. This is especially true for people without full health coverage or for those looking to get non-covered elective operations.
Access to specialized procedures: Certain countries may have advanced medical technologies or specialized procedures that are not available or accessible in the individual’s home country. Traveling to these destinations allows patients to access cutting-edge treatments and expertise.
Reduced waiting times: In countries with public healthcare systems, there can be long waiting lists for certain treatments or surgeries. Medical tourism provides an opportunity for patients to receive prompt care by traveling to countries with shorter waiting times.
Quality of care: Some people might believe that certain countries’ healthcare systems are of a higher caliber than those in their own. This may be due to factors such as renowned medical facilities, highly trained doctors, or favorable healthcare outcomes.
How Medical Tourism is different from Medical Wellness?
Medical tourism and wellness tourism are two distinct concepts, although they both involve traveling for health-related purposes. The key difference lies in the primary focus and intention behind each type of tourism.
Medical tourism primarily revolves around seeking medical treatment or healthcare services in another country. Individuals travel abroad specifically to receive medical procedures, surgeries, or treatments that may not be readily available, affordable, or timely in their home country. The main motivation for medical tourism is to address a specific medical condition or undergo a necessary procedure under the care of qualified healthcare professionals.
On the other hand, wellness tourism is more centered around promoting and enhancing overall well-being, relaxation, and personal growth. Wellness tourists may participate in activities such as spa treatments, yoga retreats, meditation programs, fitness classes, nutritional counseling, stress management workshops, and other wellness-oriented experiences.
While preventive care, self-care, and general well-being are prioritized in wellness tourism, medical tourism typically concentrates on identifying, controlling, or treating medical conditions. Wellness tourists typically seek to rejuvenate, de-stress, and improve their overall quality of life, rather than addressing specific medical issues.
It’s crucial to remember that wellness tourism and medical tourism might occasionally overlap. For instance, individuals traveling for medical procedures may also incorporate wellness activities as part of their recovery or as a means of holistic care. Similarly, wellness tourists may choose destinations that offer both wellness services and access to high-quality medical facilities in case of any unexpected health concerns.
Overall, medical tourism is primarily driven by the need for medical treatment, while wellness tourism focuses on promoting overall well-being and personal growth through various wellness-oriented experiences.
What happens in Medical Tourism?
When people travel abroad for medical treatment or healthcare services, this practice is known as medical tourism. The specific events and processes involved in medical tourism can vary depending on the individual’s medical needs, chosen destination, and healthcare provider. However, here are some general steps that typically occur:
Research and Planning: The individual begins by researching potential destinations and healthcare providers that offer the desired medical treatment or procedure. Factors such as reputation, expertise, cost, quality of care, and travel logistics are considered during the selection process. The individual may also consult with their primary healthcare provider for advice or recommendations.
Initial Consultation: Once a healthcare provider and destination are chosen, the individual may engage in an initial consultation with the medical team. This can take place remotely through phone or video calls, or in person if feasible. The consultation includes a discussion of the patient’s medical background, present state, and available treatments. To help with planning, diagnostic tests, medical records, and other pertinent data may be exchanged.
Travel Arrangements: The individual or a medical tourism facilitator assists in making travel arrangements, including flights, accommodations, and transportation. It is essential to make sure that the arrangements of the trip are well-coordinated, taking into account things like the necessity for a visa, accessibility, and any special medical requirements for the voyage.
Pre-Treatment Preparation: The person could be needed to have additional medical examinations or tests before the planned treatment, both in their home country and the destination. These evaluations aid in ensuring that the treatment strategy is customized to the patient’s unique requirements and health situation.
Treatment or Procedure: The individual undergoes the scheduled medical treatment or procedure as planned. This can include surgeries, specialized medical interventions, dental procedures, cosmetic treatments, or other healthcare services. The medical staff at the selected facility administers the treatment while following accepted medical practices and care standards.
Post-Treatment Care: Depending on the nature of the procedure, the person may need a healing period after the therapy.
Medical professionals provide post-treatment care and guidance, including medication instructions, follow-up appointments, rehabilitation or physiotherapy plans, and any necessary lifestyle modifications.
Return to Home Country: Once the individual’s medical condition permits, they return to their home country. It is essential to follow any prescribed post-treatment care and attend recommended follow-up appointments with local healthcare providers.
Throughout the medical tourism process, effective communication between the individual, the healthcare providers in both the home and destination countries, and the travel facilitators (if involved) is crucial to ensure a smooth and successful experience.
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What makes India a hub for Medical Tourism?
India has developed into a well-liked location and a center for medical tourism as a result of several important characteristics, such as:
Cost-effectiveness: India is a popular location for medical tourists because of a number of factors, including price. Medical treatments and procedures in India are significantly more affordable compared to many developed countries. A vast range of medical services, including operations, specialist therapies, organ transplants, cardiac procedures, reproductive treatments, cosmetic surgery, and more, fall under this economic advantage. The lower cost does not compromise the quality of care, making it an attractive option for patients seeking affordable medical solutions.
Healthcare professionals: With high levels of expertise and experience are in abundance in India, including physicians, surgeons, nurses, and support staff. Many Indian doctors have received training and gained experience in reputable medical institutions worldwide. They are famous for their expertise, talent, and commitment to delivering top-notch care. The presence of English-speaking medical professionals also facilitates communication with international patients.
Advanced medical facilities and technology: The United States has made large expenditures in its healthcare infrastructure, making cutting-edge hospitals and cutting-edge technology accessible throughout the nation. Many hospitals and clinics in India are equipped with modern diagnostic equipment, robotic surgery systems, advanced imaging technologies, and well-equipped operation theaters. Patients have access to cutting-edge treatments and procedures thanks to these institutions.
Availability of a wide range of treatments: India is known for providing a comprehensive range of medical treatments and procedures. Ayurveda, cosmetic surgery, orthopedic procedures, neurosurgery, cancer therapies, and heart surgeries are just a few of the traditional healthcare options available in India. This variety of medical services attracts patients seeking specialized or alternative treatments not easily accessible in their home countries.
Similar Culture and Food: With vibrant festivals and diverse art forms, Indian culture is a mix of customs, languages and faiths. Its cuisine features a mouthwatering variety of dishes including biryani, dosas, and curries and is a beautiful blend of tastes and spices. Indian food never fails to impress and satisfy the senses, from street food to royal feasts. In India you will get the same culture and similar taste of food and the hospitality services are also similar like you are having in your own countries.
Reduced waiting times: In some countries, patients often face long waiting times for elective surgeries or specialized treatments. India, on the other hand, offers relatively shorter waiting periods, allowing patients to receive timely care. This prompt access to treatment is particularly appealing to medical tourists who are seeking to avoid delays and receive necessary procedures without prolonged waiting.
Cultural and heritage attractions: India’s rich cultural heritage, historical sites, and tourist attractions also contribute to its appeal as a medical tourism destination. Patients and their accompanying family members often take advantage of their visits to explore the country’s diverse landscapes, monuments, spirituality, and traditional practices. This combination of healthcare and tourism experiences makes India an attractive choice for medical travelers.
Accredited healthcare institutions: From organizations like Joint Commission International (JCI) and the National Certification Board for Hospitals and Healthcare Providers (NABH), numerous hospitals and healthcare institutions in India have obtained international certification. These accreditations ensure adherence to globally recognized standards of quality and safety in healthcare delivery.
Milestones of India in the Medical Sector
Ministry of Ayush: The ministry was founded in 2014, and its main goal is to improve the availability, standard, and efficacy of these complementary medical methods. India’s rich tradition of natural and holistic healing practices is preserved and promoted in large part because to the Ministry of Ayush.
Major Indian Hospital Chain: One of the largest hospital chains in India is Apollo Hospitals. It was founded in 1983 and has come to represent top-notch medical care. Apollo Hospitals provides a wide range of medical specialties and cutting-edge treatment facilities through its extensive network of hospitals and clinics located all throughout the nation. It has established a reputation as a top healthcare provider in India with its modern infrastructure, cutting-edge technology, and skilled medical staff.
Serum Insitute of India Covid Shield: Covishield is a COVID-19 vaccine developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca, manufactured by the Serum Institute of India. It has been authorized for emergency use in various countries and is known for its efficacy in preventing COVID-19 infection and reducing the severity of symptoms.
Covaxin: Covaxin is a COVID-19 vaccine developed by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research. It is an inactivated vaccine that has been granted emergency use authorization in India. Covaxin has shown efficacy in preventing COVID-19 infection and is a key component of India’s vaccination efforts.
Top Cities in India for Medical Tourism
India provides medical tourism services in many places, but some of the best ones are noted for their healthcare facilities, illustrious hospitals, and medical knowledge, such as:
Delhi: Northern India’s capital city of Delhi serves as a significant center for medical travel. It is renowned for its elite medical facilities, specialty clinics, and well-known doctors. Delhi provides a wide range of medical services, including as joint replacements, cardiac care, cancer therapy, and cosmetic surgery.
Chennai: Chennai, the capital of Tamil Nadu, is frequently referred to as the “Health Capital of India.” It is renowned for its top-notch healthcare facilities, cutting-edge medical equipment, and highly qualified medical staff. The city is particularly well-known for its competence in oncology, reproductive treatments, organ transplantation, and cardiac care.
Mumbai: Mumbai, the nation’s financial hub, is home to numerous prestigious medical facilities. Numerous medical specializations, including as heart surgery, orthopedics, neurosurgery, and cosmetic operations, are available in the city. Mumbai draws patients from abroad as well thanks to its state-of-the-art medical facilities and high-caliber medical services.
Bangalore: Bangalore, dubbed the “Silicon Valley of India,” is well known for its state-of-the-art medical facilities and qualified medical staff. Particularly in the areas of orthopedics, neurology, ophthalmology, and reproductive treatments, the city is a popular location for medical tourism. Bangalore has state-of-the-art healthcare facilities that offer excellent medical care.
Hyderabad: In recent years, Hyderabad has become a key medical tourism center. The city is renowned for its top-notch medical facilities, illustrious practitioners, and niche treatment facilities. The specialties of gastroenterology, organ transplantation, cosmetic surgery, and cardiology are all practiced in Hyderabad.
Kolkata: In Kolkata, the state capital of West Bengal, excellent medical care has long been accessible. The city offers a range of medical expertise, including heart care, neurosurgery, cancer, and infertility therapies. Kolkata is renowned for its top hospitals and skilled medical staff.
Ahmedabad: Gujarat’s western city of Ahmedabad has become a major player in the medical tourism industry. The city is renowned for its cutting-edge medical facilities, specialty clinics, and proficiency in fields including orthopedics, infertility treatments, and heart care.
Due to their top-notch medical facilities, famous doctors, cutting-edge technology, and wide range of medical treatments and procedures, these cities have become important centers for medical tourism in India.
Medical procedures that India is famous for Treatment
India is renowned for offering a wide range of medical procedures and treatments. Some of the medical procedures for which India has gained recognition include:
Cardiac Surgeries: Heart procedures include coronary artery bypass grafting, angioplasty, heart valve replacement, and congenital heart disease therapies are getting more and more common in India. In hospitals across India, you may find cutting-edge cardiac catheterization labs and qualified heart surgeons.
Organ Transplantation: The transplantation of various organs, including kidneys, livers, hearts, lungs, and bone marrow, has advanced significantly in India. Patients from all over the world travel to Indian transplant hospitals because of their skilled medical staff, cutting-edge surgical methods, and post-transplant care facilities.
Orthopedic Surgeries: India is famous for its expertise in orthopedic operations, including joint replacements (such as knee and hip replacements), arthroscopy, trauma surgery, and spine surgery. Indian orthopedic surgeons are proficient in intricate treatments and make use of cutting-edge methods and implants.
Oncology Treatments: India provides comprehensive cancer care for a variety of cancer forms, including diagnosis, treatment, and supportive care. Advanced chemotherapy, immunotherapy, targeted therapy, and surgical oncology are well-known in this nation. There are famous oncologists and specialist cancer centers in Indian hospitals.
Fertility Treatments: India has become more popular for reproductive procedures such in vitro fertilization (IVF), intrauterine insemination (IUI), surrogacy, and egg/sperm donation. Indian fertility clinics are renowned for their skilled fertility doctors, cutting-edge labs, and reasonably priced treatment options.
Cosmetic and Plastic Surgeries: India is a well-liked location for cosmetic and plastic surgery procedures like facelifts, rhinoplasty, breast augmentation/reduction, liposuction, and hair transplants. Indian plastic surgeons are well-known throughout the world for their expertise, use of cutting-edge methods, and capacity to produce outcomes that look natural.
Dental Procedures: Dental implants, smile makeovers, braces, and root canals are just a few of the many dental services available in India. Indian dental clinics are outfitted with cutting-edge technology, expert dentists, and sophisticated facilities.
Ayurveda and Wellness Therapies: Ayurveda, a system of ancient medicine from India, is well known for encouraging overall health. Individuals seeking holistic health and wellness are drawn to Ayurvedic therapies including Panchakarma, rejuvenation therapy, and herbal cures.
Medical tourism occurs when patients travel internationally to obtain privately funded medical care. Medical tourism is a global practice, with hospitals and clinics in a diverse array of destination countries vying to treat such international patients. India is one of these destination countries. In this document we provide an overview of Bangalore, India’s nascent medical tourism industry. This overview has been generated based on information gleaned from media and policy sources, field notes taken during site visits to public and private health care facilities in the country, immersive observational research,
and informal conversations with various stakeholders in Bangalore’s medical tourism industry.
Our research group is interested in developing a better understanding of the health equity impacts of medical tourism on destination countries. In other words, we are interested in understanding if and how medical tourism is helpful and/or harmful to people living in destination countries and their health. India is one of four countries that our work is focused on, which is why we have produced this profile. The medical tourism industries in Barbados, Guatemala, and Mexico are also being examined. We are studying the medical tourism industries and their impacts in these countries as part of an international grant funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. You can learn more about our research
In the sections that follow we offer some general information on Bangalore and its health system before going into detail about key developments in its medical tourism industry. Complementing the main text, five Appendices provide additional detailed insights. Appendix 1 offers a content analysis of the media coverage of medical tourism in Bangalore. In Appendix 2 we provide a narrative synthesis of policy documents regarding medical tourism in Bangalore, Karnataka and India. Appendix 3 is a summary of key agencies and actors involved in medical tourism development in Bangalore and India. Appendix 4 is a map of the medical tourism facilities in Bangalore, and Appendix 5 offers the trade and investment treaties in India.
1.0 THE CONTEXTUAL SETTING
1.1 The Karnataka State
Bangalore is the capital city of the state of Karnataka, one of the four southern states of India. The state has a geographical area of 191,791 km2, or 5.83% of
India’s total geographical area, making it the eighth largest Indian state. Karnataka has a very diverse set of cultures, geographies, and languages, and is known for its emphasis on intellectual capital. It is also the only state which shares borders with all the other southern states. It has four natural regions –
the coastal region, the Western Ghats Region, the northern plains and the southern plains (Planning and Statistics Department, Government of Karnataka [PSD-GOK], 2006).
Karnataka has 30 districts, 176 sub-districts and 29,340 villages (Government of India, Ministry of Home Affairs [GOI-MOHA], 2011). It has a total population of 61,130,704. The population density is 319 people per km2. The rural population of Karnataka comprises nearly 62% of the population, Figure 1 – Location of Karnataka State although this is down from nearly 66% in 2001, indicating increasing urbanization in the region. The literacy rate in the state is 75.6% (Government of India, Ministry of Home Affairs, 2011). The sex ratio is one of the most balanced in the country (968 females for every 1,000 males) in comparison with the national sex ratio (933 females for every 1,000 males). The Gender Equity Index (GEI) for education enrolment in Karnataka in
Figure 2 – Location of Bangalore
2009-10 was .9882, where 1 equals perfect equality in male and female education. For India the GEI for education was .66 in 2012 (Social Watch, 2012). Karnataka is ranked 12th in India on the Human Development Index (HDI) at 0.519; higher than the overall HDI for India at 0.467 (Gandhi, et al., 2011). The life expectancy at birth (projected for 2011-2015) is 68 years for males and 72.3 years for females (Central Bureau of Health Intelligence [CBHI], 2011).
Bangalore, officially named Bengaluru, lies in the southern part of Karnataka It has a pleasant climate throughout the year, with moderate temperatures ranging from 18°C to 32°C. It is the fifth largest metropolis in India, with a total population of 9,588,910 in Greater Bangalore, nearly 91% of whom reside in the urban area. Population growth in Bangalore was 46.68% over the past decade. The sex ratio is less balanced with 908 females for every 1,000 males. The literacy rate in Bangalore is 84% (GOI-MOHA, 2011). Bangalore is also a knowledge hub, with premier institutes like the Indian Institute of Science, National Institute for Advanced Studies, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Indian Institute of Management, Indian Space Research Organization, and many more housed in the city. Also, due to its prominent IT industry it is also known as the ‘Silicon City’ of India. Due to its greenery, parks, and tree lined streets, it is also called the ‘Garden City’ of India. In 2000, Wired magazine identified 46 global hubs of technological innovation; Bangalore ranked 11th and was given a score of 13 out of a possible 16 points (United National Development Programmed, 2001).
1.3 Economy of Karnataka
Karnataka’s Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) for 2012-2013 (at constant prices) was 56 billion USD with a per capita income of 818 USD, and a growth rate of 5.9% over the previous year. The three most important sectors contributing to the state GSDP were the agriculture sector with 15.3%, the industry sector with 25.9%, and the service sector with 58.8%, which has become increasingly important in recent years owing to the IT sector boom. In 2009-2010, the overall unemployment rate in the state was 4.2% and the youth unemployment rate was at 7%, comparing favorably with overall figures from India of 6.6% and 9.4% respectively. In 2009-2010, 23.6% of the population (14.2 million people) lived below the poverty line, even though there was an improvement of 9.7 percentage points when compared with the 2004-2005 data (Planning, Programmed Monitoring & Statistics Department, Government of Karnataka, 2012-13). The Gini coefficient of consumption, an equality measure where 0 equates to perfect equality (all persons have an equal portion of what is being measured) and 1 equates to perfect inequality (one person has all of what is being measured), for Karnataka in 2004-2005 was 0.23 for rural areas and 0.36 for urban areas (PSD-GOK, 2006).
1.4 Health Indicators
The infant mortality rate in 2011 for Karnataka was 35 per 1,000 live births, while the corresponding figure for India was 44 (Sample Registration System [SRS], 2012). The maternal mortality ratio in 2007-2009 was 178 maternal deaths for every 100,000 live births, while for India the ratio was 212 (Office of Registrar General, 2011). The crude birth rate for Karnataka was 18.8 per 1,000 people, while India’s was 21.8; the crude death rate was 7.1 for both Karnataka and India; the natural growth rate for Karnataka was 11.7 per 1,000 people, India’s rate was 14.7 (SRS, 2012). Table 1 provides an overview of the various indicators for Karnataka and India.
In Karnataka, 71.6% of births were attended by skilled personnel, both within institutions and home deliveries, in 2007-2008; while for India overall it was 52.3% (International Institute for Population Sciences [IIPS], 2010). Karnataka has a high level of childhood immunization, with 76.7% of children having complete immunization, 85.1% immunized for measles, and 84.8% for diphtheria, pertussis, and tetanus; compared to 54%, 53.5%, and 63.4% in India overall, respectively (IIPS, 2010). In 2011, among children less than 5 years of age, there were 49 deaths from acute diarrheal disease (out of 591,989 cases), 182 deaths due to pneumonia (out of 1,629,997 cases), one death each due to diphtheria and measles, and no deaths due to neonatal tetanus or whooping cough (CBHI, 2011). Overall, Karnataka’s health indicators are in the middlegame in comparison with the other 27 Indian states.