India is seeing its Golden Days in terms of Medical Tourism. In line with the thoughts shared by Rita Teaotia from the Ministry of Commerce, gone are the days when the developed nations like USA, UK, Australia and Canada only used to attract a huge flock of medical tourists. Today, the Asian nations like India have created several milestones in terms of advanced and economic healthcare driving the attention of thousands of medical tourists.
The $3 Billion Medical Tourism industry can cross thrice its present value in a couple of years. The spectacular pace attained by the Asian Medical Tourism is worth tons of appreciations. Not only the mainstream healthcare has shown awe-inspiring results but the holistic healing and centuries-old practices like Yoga have been welcomed internationally and have set a trend in the fitness and wellbeing domain.
How technology is changing healthcare & where are we heading
A panel discussion chaired by Mr. Bhavdeep Singh, Chair – FICCI MVT Committee & CEO – Fortis Healthcare on the topic “Leveraging technology for Diagnosis, Treatment & Aftercare” was an important & eye-opening discussion about what the industry leaders have in their vision regarding the future of healthcare. Kicked off amazingly by Mr. Bhavdeep Singh saying how some years ago the use of email had boomed and now instant messengers such as Whatsapp have grabbed the limelight. He added that the other industries are far more ahead of leveraging technology and healthcare is yet to witness this.
The summary of this discussion was that with the discovery of the cure of a lot of diseases that were incurable before, we surely have come far from the times when there were limited healthcare choices. With the advent of the robotic surgeries, already the hospital stay has been reduced significantly due to fewer cuts as with the robots; there is high precision, low blood loss & lower chances of errors. Also, they envision that healthcare will completely have a new face until 2030 with telemedicine and robotic technologies taking it to a whole new level. It was also stated that by 2030, there would be no brick & motor hospitals, maybe everything would shift to treatments at home.
How Government of India is helping boost Medical Value Travel
According to a recent FICCI report, over 500,000 foreign patients seek treatment in India every year. With government effort of the introduction of e-visa, setting up of dedicated concierge facilities for medical tourists at the airport, launch of web portal, accreditation of facilitators and many such efforts the medical travel value has increased in many folds. Although there’s lot to be done yet with such initiatives, India is on a right track to become the top destination for MVT.
How attention of developed countries is turning towards ancient India medicine – Ayurveda
A panel discussion on the topic “AYUSH: The Indian System of Medicine for Healing & Rejuvenation” chaired by Dr. Harish Nadkarni, CEO – NABH focused on India as an unmatched heritage of ancient medicine which has proved beneficial for both preventive and curative healthcare. AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy) has been one of the key focuses of the government and it has taken various steps for upgrading AYUSH facilities, educational institutions as well as pharmacies focusing on AYUSH. This panel highlighted the strengths of how ancient medicines of India are gaining a lot of traction from the developed countries. Although this traction is quite high for Wellness Tourism, the panel also concluded to make AYUSH‘s visibility for Curative care and not only for rejuvenation. Also, a bold statement was made that AYUSH is considered as an alternative medicine whereas it has been the primary form of medicine from the past 5,000 years and allopathy itself means “other medicine” which is derived from Greek in the 19th century.
Karnataka to boost itself as a medical tourism destination
Gaurav Gupta, Principal Secretary, Department of IT, Biotechnology and Tourism announced that the state of Karnataka would soon introduce a medical and wellness tourism policy. He said “Karnataka is home to 56 medical colleges and offers the highest number of seats in India. Considering this, we are shortly going to come out with a medical and wellness tourism policy for Karnataka”. Also, a marketing fund will be set up for promoting Karnataka as a wellness tourism and financial assistance would be given to entrepreneurs for wellness tourism.
The summit was very well organized by FICCI, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Govt of India & Services Export Council of India (SEPC). It proved to be important for all the participating stakeholders present in the summit. It was a great opportunity to connect, network & learn a lot of insights from the key players of the Medical Travel industry.