One of the prime sources of foreign exchange, Indian Medical tourism is witnessing an annual growth of 30 per cent due to the constant efforts and par excellence quality offered by healthcare providers.
Citing the par excellence quality at a fraction of the cost given by healthcare providers, Indian Culture and Tourism Minister Mahesh Sharma said country’s medical tourism is growing at an annual rate of 30 per cent.
While addressing the 11th India Health Summit organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry, Sharma acknowledged the dire need for a separate body to boost medical tourism.
Sharma noted, "No other sector is growing at a rate of 30 per cent.” He also added, "Medical visa on ETA (Electronic Travel Authority) is already being provided in SAARC countries and would soon be extended further.”
Assuring all possible help to the medical fraternity to encourage more potential growth of the industry, Sharma said, "Indian healthcare providers are providing quality par excellence at a fraction of the cost and that is what attracts oversees clients.”
Determining cleanliness, security and hospitality as the key factors to boost medical tourism manifold, Sharma said that as part of the Swachh Bharat campaign, a huge cleanliness drive would be undertaken at all key tourist destinations including hospitals. He also talked about various schemes are being devised including a nationwide 24x7 helpline.
Significantly, a report unveiled by industry lobby Punjab Haryana Delhi (PHD) Chamber of Commerce and Industry says that the Indian medical tourism industry is expected to reach $6 billion, which is about Rs 36,000 crore by 2018. The number of people arriving in the country for medical treatment is set to double over the next four years.
Presently, the size of the Indian medical tourism industry is estimated at a little over $3 billion in value terms with tourist arrivals estimated at 230,000.
Medical tourism is an area that NDA (National Democratic Alliance) government plans to tap on priority. The government also have plans to build over 50 tourist medical circuits, which will connect hubs of modern medicine and Ayurveda to drive growth in the tourism sector.