According to The Tribune, more patients from Afghanistan are choosing North India for treatment rather than Pakistan. This is mainly due to escalating medical and hotel costs in Pakistan.
The article states that Pakistan government’s Ministry of Commerce has admitted that the number of neighbouring Afghanistan-based medical tourists to the country was trickling down fast over the last two years.
It says that Pakistan has historically been attractive for Afghan medical travellers due to an ‘almost common language, culture and lower treatment costs’. But escalating medical costs and difficulties faced by Afghan nationals in getting appointments from doctors and even accommodation in Pakistan are now encouraging Afghans to look elsewhere. Other negative influences include Pakistan’s poor border management policy, difficulties for Afghans in getting Pakistani visa and compulsory police reports and unnecessary security checks at the Pak-Afghan border.
The article claims that the treatment cost of major diseases in India is “at least 50%” lower compared to Pakistan, and says that, after New Delhi, the Indian regions of Noida and Gurugram, Punjab are emerging as medical tourism destinations for Afghan nationals. It says that thanks to wider internet access and improved communication channels in Afghanistan, there is more awareness in the country of the variety of cost-effective medical facilities in other parts of North India.