Call to up medical tourism in India

Call to up medical tourism in India

Country should emulate standards, services of UAE healthcare sector, says ambassador.



Dubai — The UAE healthcare sector is an eye-opener to counterparts about the kind of standards and services people expect.

And these should be emulated if competitors wish to attract medical tourists from here, T.P. Seetharam, Indian Ambassador to the UAE said on Thursday.

Delivering the keynote address at the inauguration of the first edition of the India-UAE Health Cooperation Programme in Dubai, Seetharam noted that some of the UAE hospitals have five star facilities so that relatives of the patients also receive the best services.

Urging Indian healthcare groups present at the programme to see the facilities for themselves, he said they should also be aware that Emiratis are not looking for cheap services but the best quality in terms of treatment and services.

“I believe many of our best hospitals also provide or are approaching similar services. But, we need to work much harder (to attract medical tourists), especially hospital authorities,” he said.

The envoy said the new online visa facility was likely to attract more visitors, including medical travelers, to India. For that, he pointed out, Indian hospital authorities have to be proactive in assisting patients with getting their documentation done quickly so that visas can be processed faster.

Anurag Bhushan, Consul-General of India to Dubai and the Northern Emirates, hoped the platform would pave the way for better cooperation in the health sector in both directions. “The UAE offers immense possibilities in business expansion, in terms of investment and in terms of offering newer facilities. It is such a vibrant country with a vibrant economy,” he said while advocating the investment of Indian healthcare groups here.

Dr Shamsheer V.P., managing director, VPS Healthcare Group said there was a need for collective efforts to improve the medical tourism sector in India as the country’s ranking has gone down in the sector in spite of producing doctors who are world leaders and nurses who are the mainstay of the health sector in many countries.

Ali Rashed Omran, director of Treatment Referral Abroad and Health Attaché Department at the UAE Ministry of Health inaugurated the exhibition and continuous medial education (CME) conference held as part of the two-day event.

Top-notch medical professionals and leading healthcare and medical service providers from India showcased their international quality and great advancements made by the Indian healthcare industry at the exhibition.

Indias medical tourism facts:

> India is ranked fifth among the top medical tourism destinations in the world.

> The current size of the medical tourism industry in India is estimated at over $3b with tourist arrivals estimated at 230,000 in 2013.

> 400,000 medical visitors are expected to visit India in 2015.

> The Indian medical tourism industry is expected to reach $6b by 2018

> The cost of medical treatment in India is 65 to 90 per cent less than that in the US and Europe.

> Indian private hospitals have a large pool of medical professionals that attracts medical tourists especially from the South East Asia and Middle East.

> Top specialities sought by medical travellers to India are cosmetic surgeries, dentistry, cardiovascular and orthopedics.

 sajila@khaleejtimes.com

 


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