India plans sops to woo medical tourists
Union Tourism Minister Mahesh Sharma says plans are being worked to welcome and encourage medical tourism with a series of initiatives that will include online approval for medical visa, accreditation of hospitals and wellness institutions and establishing fixed charges for…

Union Tourism Minister Mahesh Sharma says plans are being worked to welcome and encourage medical tourism with a series of initiatives that will include online approval for medical visa, accreditation of hospitals and wellness institutions and establishing fixed charges for services.

“We will be addressing the problems faced by the people (coming to India for medical and wellness purposes). We are going to propose hassle-free visa facility to the medical tourists. We have plans to engage with the tour and travel operators and ensure that a transparent system of medical facilities is provided, “Sharma said.

Well-known heart surgeon Dr Naresh Trehan, Medanta CMD and board member of the National Medical and Wellness Tourism Promotion Board, said India is emerging as the most cost-effective place for quality medical treatment.

In India the healthcare industry is growing at a rate of 25 per cent in the last three years and if the sector is well organisation there will be potential high growth.

The ministry has set up three sub-committees working under the board to look into regulatory, accreditation and marketing issues.

The 25-member board includes experts like Dr Trehan, Dr Devi Prasad Shetty from Narayana Health, IATO president Subhash Goyal, yoga guru Baba Ramdev and his aide Acharya Balkrishnan, accreditation agencies like NABHHS, Quality Council of India and industry bodies like CII, Ficci, and PHDCCI.

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