Ministry of Tourism plans to promote medical tourism

Shyamhari Chakra

NEW DELHI: In view of the increasing demand for India’s ancient tradition of Ayurveda in post Covid era, the Central Government has mooted an ambitious action plan to boost medical tourism across the country.

The Ministry of Tourism has undertaken the mission in association with several other Ministries of the Union Government apart from experts of different medical practices.

As per the plan, Centres registered with the Ministry of AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy) will be promoted as hubs of medical tourism.

Large chunk of people will be soliciting wellness tours in post Covid era and India is the ideal place destination for them to avail the best of services at the least expensive way, observed officials associated with the mission.

The plan includes all systems of medicine prevailing in India that includes allopathy and homeopathy, it was learnt.

The decision to promote this exclusive medical tourism plan was taken at a meeting of the National Medical and Wellness Tourism Board recently, Culture Minister Prahlad Singh Patel revealed.

“India has always been a leader in Ayurveda and we can become a global hub for such tourism,” he felt.

The Board will meet once in every three months to review the progress, he added.

The Board members comprise representation of the Ministries of AYUSH, Home Affairs, Health and Family Welfare, Indian Medical Association apart from private players like Yoga exponent Baba Ramdev, Dr Naresh Trehan and Dr Sangeeta Reddy, the Ministry sources said.

The Ministry of Tourism plans to ensure that medical tourists get their visa within a day of their application. An exclusive Call Centre would be set up in the Ministry to expedite issue of the visa at the earliest, the sources added.

Details of the internationally certified hospitals across India will be included in the Incredible India campaign and the list will be made available to the public on its website.

India’s share in global medical market was 18 per cent in 2019 – the year before the pandemic paralysed the tourism and hospitality sectors – and the share is likely to get a rapid rise in the post Covid period, the Ministry has observed.