Govt promoting medical tourism through various means: K J Alphons

As per the minister of state for health, Mr K J Alphons, the National Medical and Wellness Tourism Board has been constituted to provide a dedicated institutional framework to take forward the cause of promotion of medical and wellness tourism

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New Delhi: The Ministry of Tourism has recognised medical and wellness tourism as niche tourism products for promotion. The ministry offers financial support as marketing development assistance, for publicity, and for organizing wellness and medical tourism promotion shows as well as workshop, events, seminars to accredited medical and wellness tourism service providers and chambers of commerce, etc. This was stated by Mr K J Alphons, Union Minister of State (I/C) for Tourism in a written reply in the upper house of Parliament on 3rd January.

The Minister revealed that a film on medical tourism has been produced in association with BBC and is used at various fora for promotional purposes. Medical and Medical attendant visa has been introduced to ease the travel process of Medical Tourists. The e-tourist visa regime has been expanded to include medical visits as well. It has also been decided to set up facilitation counters at the major airports of Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Bengaluru for tourists arriving on Medical Visas.

A National Medical and Wellness Tourism Board has been constituted to provide a dedicated institutional framework to take forward the cause of promotion of Medical and Wellness Tourism including Ayurveda and any other format of Indian system of medicine covered by Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy (AYUSH).

India has emerged as a major Medical Tourism destination. While Ministry of Tourism does not maintain any data regarding the growth of India’s medical tourism vis a vis other countries, Ministry of Commerce informs that as per a FICCI-IMS Knowledge Paper titled, ‘Medical Value travel in India: Enhancing value in MVT’, published in 2016, India is amongst the top 6 MVT (Medical Value Travel) destinations of the world which include Thailand, Singapore, India, Malaysia, Taiwan and Mexico (India ranked third in the world in 2015).

The Department of Commerce and Services Export Promotion Council (SEPC) has launched a Healthcare Portal, as a single source platform providing comprehensive information to medical travelers on the top healthcare institutions in the country in English, Arabic, Russian and French.

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