About 50 thousand patients are admitted every year for treatment in the state’s five-star hospitals. Late Eman Ahmed, ‘World’s Heaviest Woman,’ was undergoing treatment in Mumbai. Also, Ever since the civil war broke out in Yemen, thousands of people struggle to find accessible and trustworthy medical care in their homeland and come to seek treatment in Pune.
In reply to the question on promotion of medical tourism in Loksabha, KJ Alphons, who is Tourism Minister India, informed, India has emerged as a major medical tourism destination. “India has emerged as a major Medical Tourism destination. 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).”
It is further informed that as per the above report, through adequate focus and effective execution, Indian Medical Value Travel, pegged at 3 billion USD in 2015, can be a 9 billion USD opportunity by 2020.
The Ministry offers financial support as marketing development assistance, for publicity, and for organising 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.
A film on medical tourism has been produced in association with BBC, and is used 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 also been expanded to include medical visits as well.
The Department of Commerce and Services Export Promotion Council (SEPC) have launched a Healthcare Portalwww.indiahealthcaretourism.com, as a single source platform providing comprehensive information to medical travellers on the top healthcare institutions in the country. This portal is available in English, Arabic, Russian and French.
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).
The Board works as an umbrella organization to promote this segment of tourism in an organised manner and therefore integrates AYUSH streams into the purview of Medical Tourism. There are no schemes in the Ministry of Tourism, for setting up of medical facilitation centres/medical hubs to cater to medical tourists. However, it has 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.
Year Foreign tourist Arrivals