Mahesh Sharma assures hassle free medical tourism

Eyeing the huge potential of medical and wellness tourism in India, Union Minister Mahesh Sharma today assured all help to the stakeholders, including easing of visa process for such travellers.

"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," he told reporters here.

The Minister, who earlier today presided over the first meeting of the National Medical and Wellness Tourism Promotion Board here, noted that private players also need to be roped in for realising the full potential of the health care industry.

"We will be taking this (medical and wellness tourism) in a mission mode. That is why we have formed a board with a seed capital of Rs 2 crore. Health care industry is growing at a rate of 25 per cent in the last three years and if you use this potential in an organised manner, we will achieve a lot," he said.

The Union Culture and Tourism Minister noted that the country has "world-class professional doctors, infrastructure hospitals" which can offer medical facilities at "very affordable rate" compared to other countries.

The Government had last year set the National Medical and Wellness Tourism Promotion Board with personalities like yoga guru Ramdev, renowned cardiologists Dr Naresh Trehan, Dr Devi Prasad Shetty and Dr K K Aggarwal, among others as its members.

Sharma said that difficulties faced by foreign visitors in getting visa on medical grounds among other hurdles, were discussed at the maiden meeting of the Board.

Reiterating that the country is yet to exploit its vast potential to become the destination choice for availing medical and wellness facilities, the Minister said the government and private sector have to come together to achieve the objective.

Sharma said that the Board will meet once in every three months and discuss issues related to various aspects of this segment of tourism such as health care, naturopathy, yoga and ayurveda.

The Minister also advocated for bringing transparency in various service charges being offered to the foreign tourists and said a dedicated web portal highlighting the facilities offered by hospitals or organisations would be available for the purpose.

The National Medical and Wellness Tourism Promotion Board has been mandated with the task of devising strategies to increase the flow of foreign tourists to India for various treatments which are available at a much lower cost in the country.

The Board consists of members from various government departments, tourism and hospitality sector and experts in the medical, wellness and yoga fields.

Mahesh Sharma assures hassle free medical tourism Mahesh Sharma assures hassle free medical tourism Reviewed by Ayub Asad on 21:58 Rating: 5

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