“Fertility Clinic Tourism” on the Rise in India

Relaxed regulations and cheap costs have made India a hotbed for in vitro fertilization (IVF). Couples looking to conceive through artificial means are coming from all over the globe to take advantage of these fertility services. The Indian Society for Assisted Reproduction (ISAR) claims that there are nearly 400 fertility clinics in the country. These were visited by 30,000 patients in the past year. According to some doctors, half of their patients come from overseas. And why not? Quality IVF procedures at a clinic in a major city like Mumbai cost about one-third of what they do in the US. Even after airfare, a couple stands to save thousands of dollars.

The boom means that there is a big demand for egg donors, who can earn between $200 and $1000 per donation. Medical tourism, in general, is on the rise in India. Elective procedures cost a fraction of what the do in the US and Europe and most top Indian doctors have been trained in Western medical schools, meaning their skills are on par with the best American and European surgeons. Because of these factors, India expects medical tourism to account for $2 billion in revenue by 2012.