Maha plan for medical tourism

The state aims to become the number one destination for medical tourism not just in India but globally and it has charted a roadmap and invited multiple agencies to be a part of it.

At a Medical Tourism Conclave organised by the India Merchants Chamber (IMC) in Mumbai recently, Valsa Nair, Principal Secretary, Tourism and Culture, Government of Maharashtra, declared her department’s intention of making her state one of the leading destinations for medical tourism or more accurately Medical Value Travel (MVT), since medical tourism in its truest sense has not established itself in India yet. She said, “We want to have state-of-the-art healthcare facilities, well-trained medical professionals and low cost of delivery as compared to cities like Tamil Nadu and Delhi. Medical tourism in India is seen as the next crown jewel that could shape the future of India’s economy and healthcare. The Indian medical tourism industry is expected to grow from current $3 million to $8 billion attracting medical tourists from Bangladesh, Iraq, GCC, CIS region and Africa. Our objective is to provide infrastructure, hospitals and medical facilities in Pune, Nagpur and other centers around the state.” Travellers travelling to India for medical reasons from Asia, GCC, Africa and the SAARC are increasingly opting for India for advances treatments and services. The country’s cost benefit gives it a definite edge over other countries like Singapore and Malaysia with savings of up to 30-70 per cent on total expenditure. Maharashtra plans to create a single web platform which will provide services and facilities to the global patients seeking assistance in India. With 100 per cent FDI in medical and devices sector, it will further give a boost to Modi’s ‘Make in India’ initiative. Deepak Premnarayen, President, IMC, added, “Apart from the Medical Tourism Council, the IMC Chamber of Commerce & Industry is also looking into creating a task force which will put together its suggestions for drafting the necessary policies for the promotion of medical tourism in the state. While there are several challenges such as adequate insurance, complaint resolution mechanism, safety regulations, norms governing malpractices etc; the state also presents several opportunities which the government can extend its support to. We will also evaluate more engagement and associations with partner countries to provide a fillip to this growing industry.” Leading doctors from AdityaJyot Eye Hospital, Jaslok Hospital, Bombay Hospital, Apollo Hospital and Wockhardt Hospital participated in a panel discussion.

Good to know: The Indian medical tourism industry is expected to grow from current $3 million to $8 billion attracting medical tourists from Bangladesh, Iraq, GCC, CIS region and Africa

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