Commerce Secretary Rita Teaotia said that the government is concentrating on a number of areas including easy visa procedures and raising quality standards for making India a global destination for best healthcare services. She further added that India was rising as the chief destination for affordable and quality healthcare sector. Teaotia informed that the government is taking actions “in terms of making visas much easier to obtain, much more flexible in terms of the administration.”
An event named ‘Advantage Healthcare India 2015’ was organized in Delhi by Ficci and the Commerce Ministry and the secretary here was addressing foreign and domestic delegates. This was a 3-day event, attended by delegates from 65 countries.
The secretary stressed that there was a need to put all the focus on accreditation of hospitals and laboratories, and raising the quality standards so that the confidence of the visiting medical tourists boost their confidence in the healthcare system of India.
Presently, Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore are known to the heading the market of global healthcare, however as far as market share and performance over the years is concerned, “India is right up there and it is moving ahead.”
Teaotia said that India is a formidable for international patients “because this is a place where entire gamut of healthcare sector finds place”. The size of the market of the healthcare sector of India is estimated to rise to $160 billion by the year 2017 from around $79 billion presently. The increasing population and swelling income have generated the demand for quality healthcare services.
She informed at the event that the cost of treatment in India is also quite low in comparison to the western countries. She said, “In India, you can get Allopathy, Ayurveda, Yoga and Nathuropathy.”
The other speaker at the event, Vinod Zutshi, Tourism Secretary said that the need of the hour to turn India into a top medical tourist destination. India receives around 1.27 million of medical tourists every year from various nations such as Bangladesh, the United States, the United Kingdom, China and Sri Lanka.
Recently, the facility of electronic-tourist visas was extended by India to as many as 130 counties and it is being said that this number will rise to 150 countries in the coming years.
Simultaneously, in the event, a white paper was also released suggesting the several actions that need to the take for tapping the possibilities in the sector. The paper also made other recommendation such as medical visa regulation for foreign patients should be relaxed and simplified; immigration facilities at the airport for international patients should be faster, multiple entry medical visa and medical facilitation desk at the airports of India. The paper also added, “Fiscal laws to be relaxed for genuine foreign patients, allowing them to transfer money to India in case of additional requirements and single consultative platforms to facilitate medical tourism.”