Major step to promote India as medical tourism destination

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Kochi, Mar 24: In a major move to promote India as a medical tourism destination, the autonomous Quality Council of India has adopted a set of standards for accreditation of hospitals and treatment centres to assure patients of a minimum quality of services.

Addressing the inaugural session of a conference on 'Kerala Health Tourism 2006' here, Dr Y P Bhatia, chairman of the accreditation committee of the National Accreditation Board for Hospitals (NABH), said the Quality Council of India had adopted the set of 100 standards, consisting of 505 measurable requirements, in January this year.

''This is a major step forward towards assuring the people of a minimum quality of service at the hospitals being accredited by the NABH, which has been set up by the Quality Council of India for this purpose. The ultimate goal is to make these compatible with world standards,'' he added.

The standards had been devised by a committee of 45 experts drawn up by the Indian Health Care Federation (IHCF) and the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII).

The IHCF-CII draft was submitted to the Quality Council of India in July last year and the council adopted them in January this year.

The Central Government is expected to formally publish these standards shortly. The standards are encapsulated under ten chapters. While five of the chapters are patient-centric, the other five are hospital-centric, Dr Bhatia added.

The Quality Council of India was constituted by the union cabinet, under WTO obligations, to act as a nodal agency for accreditation bodies in the country.

Earlier, inaugurating the two-day conference and exhibition, Kerala Tourism Minister K C Venugopal said the state had proven track records in tourism as well as healthcare and was ideally suited to leverage its expertise in both these areas to get a slice of the booming global health tourism industry.


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