Wishlist from Government

From challenges with visa and improving flight connectivity, there are many aspects that India needs to improve on

Medical tourism

According to various reports, India would be generating $ 5 to 6 billion business for MVT by 2018 but we could achieve only about $ 4 billion in revenues due to some hurdles- both internal and external. Though the outlook is positive and vibrant, we could have done better to accelerate the growth rate as compared to competitors in the region. One big challenge which we still face despite few iniAccording to various reports, India would be generating $ 5 to 6 billion business for MVT by 2018 but we could achieve only about $ 4 billion in revenues due to some hurdles- both internal and external.

Though the outlook is positive and vibrant, we could have done better to accelerate the growth rate as compared to competitors in the region. One big challenge which we still face despite few initiatives that the Government has taken to liberalise the visa norms, is obtaining medical visa at a faster pace. We are missing out every year on many patients to other countries, as there is always a sense of emergency when it comes to health issues and patients would want to travel at the earliest possible. It’s very important to have empathy towards patients as every experience counts in their journey towards recovery. For people who travel to India on business or tourist visa and during their stay if they need any medical attention and want to convert the status of their visa on medical grounds, our current norms do not allow for visa conversion and this has been a setback for the industry.

The authorities should improvise the system for regulation and monitor the promotion of hospitals and their services offered in overseas market. There were incidences where patients from overseas visited India and ended up in hospitals without any accreditation and had adverse experience which in turn had brought bad repute to the industry. So, our Indian representatives in their respective countries deployed should do some due diligence before they issue a medical visa to any patient and overlook if that particular hospital which has sent the invitation letter has got NABH accreditation, JCI accreditation or any other national/ international accreditation of repute, so that we can minimise the adverse
events and improve our score on compliance and governance in safeguarding the interest of the patients.

The Government should take some initiatives to improve flight connectivity as this plays a vital role in decision making, especially for patients travelling from CIS and SAARC countries. Africa is well connected to many destinations in India through Middle East airlines like Emirates, Etihad and Qatar. Turkey and Thailand score over us in both the above aspects. When it comes to clinical excellence and affordability of treatment, India is ranked high and I believe if it is coupled with excellent service at various levels and improvising connectivity and visa issues, India will emerge as a formidable player in the MVT domain for the years to come and enhance the growth rate at faster pace. Another area where all the stakeholders involved need to pay attention is to ease the facility of money transfer for patients from their respective countries to India.

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