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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

What is Medical Tourism?
Medical tourism or health tourism is travels undertaken by people to another country for obtaining medical treatment. By and large, people travel from less developed countries to major medical centers in highly developed countries for medical treatment that was unavailable in their own communities. The recent trend is for people to travel from developed countries to third world countries because of cost consideration.

Medical tourists are subject to a variety of risks, which may include deep vein thrombosis, tuberculosis, amoebic dysentery, paratyphoid, poor post-operative care and other reasons. Medical tourism is a growing sector in India. It is expected to witness an annual growth rate of 30%, making it a $2 billion industry by the year-end. 

The advantages include reduced costs, availability of latest medical technologies, a growing compliance on international quality standards, as well as the fact that foreigners are less likely to face a language barrier in India. The government has removed visa restrictions on tourist visas that required a two-month gap between consecutive visits for people from Gulf countries which is likely to boost medical tourism.

The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) reported that 150,000 medical tourists came to India in 2005 while ASSOCHAM projected that by the end of this year the number could swell to a staggering 3,200,000. The treatment costs in India start at around a tenth of the price of comparable treatment in America or Britain. The most popular treatments sought are alternative medicine, bone-marrow transplant, cardiac bypass, eye surgery and hip replacement. India is known in particular for heart surgery, hip resurfacing and other areas of advanced medicine.

Lower treatment cost does not necessarily mean lower healthcare standards. There are 21 JCI accredited hospitals in India and the number is growing.  Chennai has been called as India's health capital. Multi- and super-specialty hospitals across the city bring in an estimated 150 international patients every day. It attracts about 45 per cent of health tourists from abroad arriving in the country and 30 to 40 per cent of domestic health tourists.

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Friday, April 24, 2015

India’s Healthcare Tourism Portal Inaugurated by PM Narendra Modi at GES

Prime Minister of India  inaugurated India’s Healthcare Tourism Portal at the ‘SAAARC Trade Mart’ in the Global Exhibition on Services, in ITPO, Pragati Maidan. Ms Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of State for Commerce & Industry (Independent Charge) and Mr J.P. Nadda, Minister for Health and Family Welfare were all present there at Healthcare Tourism portal inauguration ceremony.

The Healthcare Tourism Portal was launched on the occasion of inauguration of  the three-day Global Exhibition on Services that commenced in New Delhi on 23rd April, 2015. The event was also attended by Mr Ravi Shankar Prasad,   Minister for Communications and Information Technology and Ms Smriti Irani, Minister of Human Resource Development. The inauguration was followed by a short film on medical tourism in India.

The Healthcare Tourism Portal was developed by the Department of Commerce, Govt of India and the Services Export Promotion Council. The Healthcare Tourism portal is the long awaited fulfillment of the need to have an authentic and dynamic information source which can effectively be used by any treatment seeker/potential medical tourist from across the globe.

India Healthcare Tourism
The Healthcare Tourism  portal is a comprehensive one-point information site and covers hospital-related and travel-related information on India. Presently, it covers 124 accredited medical facilities which include 93 medical centers, 30 Ayurveda and Wellness centers and 1 special category center. 74 facilities are located in Tier I cites and the rest are in Tier II cities.

The medical facilities on the Healthcare Tourism Portal are locatable by easy to search options by location, medical specialty, key procedures, language options available in hospitals and their certifications. The key medical and wellness procedures done by these institutions are highlighted. Associated details such as costs relating to treatment in hospitals in India, travel and visa formalities, last-mile connectivity, tariff options on stay, benefits of treatment in India, advance information on preparatory aspects in seeking medical care etc. are also available on the portal.


Thursday, April 9, 2015

India-UAE health event to boost medical tourism

The initial steps in this direction will see the launch of an Indo-UAE Health Cooperation Programme that will begin with a two-day event in Dubai from today.

Dubai — With the new generation of Emiratis and others in the region increasingly preferring the West for medical tourism, India is trying to regain its position as a major destination for medical travellers from here.

The Indian government has come up with new strategies to build better cooperation in the health sector with the GCC countries. The initial steps in this direction will see the launch of an Indo-UAE Health Cooperation Programme that will begin with a two-day event in Dubai from today. It aims to develop strategic partnership in the medical and holistic healthcare sector between India and the UAE.

Announcing the details of the programme, which will see its Oman leg next week, officials at the Indian Consulate in Dubai said efforts are on to open new chapters in India’s relations with the region in the health sector.

The Consulate last year issued 700 medical visas to India, marking a significant drop in the numbers from the previous years, said Consul for Commerce, Press & Information Anita Nandhini.

She said the reason could be the preference given to Western countries by the newer generation of Emiratis when it comes to medical tourism.

“The older generation used to visit India for medical treatment while the new generation is flying out to the West. It could be because they are better aware of the facilities there. But the fact is even in the US and other countries there are a lot of Indian doctors.”

She said the Indian authorities are trying to revive the tradition. “We are also trying to complement the way Dubai itself is trying to attract medical travelers, by offering treatment in Ayurveda and other complementary medicine streams. Indian healthcare groups are also keen on increasing their presence here by investing here.”

Organised by the Indian Ministry of Tourism in association with the Consulate and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry, the event is supported by the Dubai Health Authority, Dubai Healthcare City and Indian Business and Professional Council.

It will include an exhibition and a continuing medical education (CME) conference.

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