NEW DELHI: Seeking to give a thrust to medical tourism, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Thursday suggested establishing facilitation centres at Indian embassies across the world for people wanting to travel to India for treatment.
Addressing a roundtable conference with senior IFS officers on Building Brand India, he also said that a 'One Step' portal will be set up for convenience and to provide credible information for those from abroad who want to avail treatment in India.
Mandaviya noted that India, with its high-end healthcare ecosystem and world-class medical facilities, has become an attraction for the whole world, a Health Ministry statement said.
"Today, people from different countries of the world are coming to India for treatment in large numbers. With an aim to further boost medical tourism, the Government of India has launched 'Heal in India' program under the leadership of the PM. Similarly, we have started the 'Heal by India' program. This will provide an opportunity for our medical workforce to travel all over the world and contribute towards a healthy global society," Mandaviya said.
"We are committed to making India a global medical value hub by further strengthening our traditional medicine industry and boosting 'Heal in India' and 'Heal by India' initiatives", he stated.
Highlighting the need to take steps to further strengthen medical value tourism, Mandaviya suggested establishing facilitation centres at Indian embassies across the world for those wanting to travel India for treatment.
In addition, a system to get feedback or testimonials from people who are getting treated in India can be instituted. This will help us in making medical tourism, 'Brand India'.
Stressing on forging agreements with other countries in the medical sector, the Union Health Minister noted that India has an agreement with Japan to provide skilled nurses. Such agreements have also been made with other countries for skilled medical manpower.
He said these kinds of possibilities should be explored to promote medical value tourism, the statement said.
"In the last few years, medical value travel has gained a lot of popularity and India is now one of the fastest growing medical tourism centres in Asia", he added.
Highlighting the importance of the traditional system of medicines, the Union Minister noted, "India has established itself as the focal point of AYUSH.
Recently, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced to launch 'AYUSH mark'.
This will provide authenticity to AYUSH products in India and promote the traditional medicine industry".
A Special Visa Category has been made for those coming to India from other countries for Ayurveda treatment.
"The provision of medical visa and medical attendant visa has been made with 165 countries to get Ayurveda treatment," the minister said.
Mandaviya urged everyone to share suggestions to strengthen the medical tourism sector and make India a 'Global Medical Hub' in line with the spirit of 'Atithi Devo Bhava', the statement said.
According to the Medical Tourism Index 2020-21 by the Medical Tourism Association, India is currently at the 10th position out of the top 46 countries, 12th in world's top 20 wellness tourism markets, fifth out of 10 wellness tourism markets in the Asia-Pacific region, the statement said.
The treatment costs in India are 65 to 90 per cent less than the cost of treatment in America, it said.
In India, there are 39 Joint Commission International and 657 National Accreditation Board for Hospitals accredited hospitals, which is equal to or better than Global Quality Standards and benchmarks, the statement said.(THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS)