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Govt to promote medical tourism in big way

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, Aug 30 (UNI) The Centre today said it is accrediting all major hospitals and grading them according to their specialisation and integrating modern medicine and the Indian system of medicine so that the country could become a major Medical tourism destination generating about Rs 10,000 crore by 2012.

Health Minister Ambumoni Ramadoss and Tourism Minister Ambika Soni said this while releasing 'Incredible India: Medical Tourism' brochure here today.

Dr Ramadoss said that India has huge potential as health tourism destination with about 100,000 people from countries like US, UK, West Asia and other regions visiting every year as they get best quality medical facilities at a much lower price.

He said that the government is taking a number of measures to encourage medical tourism like accreditation of all hospitals and grading them as per the facilities available. He said that the Indian systems of medicine like yoga and siddha are being integrated with the modern medicine for holistic treatment and the government is spending Rs 120 crore for scientific validation of drug formulations under ISM.

Ms Soni said that her ministry would launch an intensive campaign during the next one year to promote India as a major health tourism destination as Indian hospitals are giving best medical care facilities at one fifth of the price in the international market.

India is partnering ITB, the largest tourism fair to be held in Germany next year, to promote the country's health tourism potential. The country couldearn Rs 10,000 crore by 2012 by medical tourism alone, she noted.

She said that the External Affairs ministry has started issuing special visas to people coming for medical treatment while the Home Ministry is trying to sensitise officials involved in clearing these visas and the health ministry would ensure and monitor the quality of medical facilities being provided.

Pointing out that Kerala, Tamil Nadu and North East are already earning a lot of revenue by traditional system of medicine, she said that other states must also take inspiration and promote holistic approach to health care so that people feeling stressed and suffering from hypertension could get relief.

However, she appealed to all doctors and hospitals involved in medical tourism not to forget common man and provide them treatment at cheaper rates.

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