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Govt to loosen purse strings for medical tourism

Aimed at boosting foreign tourists inflow which has been on a declining trend, government has decided to give financial aid to hospital representatives and tour operators of repute in bringing patients from abroad.

delhi Updated: Mar 01, 2009 13:42 IST
PTI
Hindustantimes

Aimed at boosting foreign tourists inflow which has been on a declining trend, government has decided to give financial aid to hospital representatives and tour operators of repute in bringing patients from abroad.

Termed as medical tourism, the Ministry of Tourism has finalised a plan to provide financial assistance to tour operators, involved in the medical service sector, and hospital representatives to attend global medical fairs showcasing India as a health-care destination.

"It has been decided to extend financial aid under the marketing development assistance scheme to medical tourism service providers, which are basically tour operators, travel agents and representatives of reputed hospitals to attend medical and tourism fairs abroad three times in a year," a senior ministry official said.

Since medical facilities are being provided in New Delhi at cheaper rates compared to hospitals abroad, a series of promotional and marketing initiatives have been undertaken to promote medical destinations, the official said and added that detailed guidelines have been issued for medical tourism service providers to avail the facility.

According to the guidelines, only representatives from 33 hospitals listed by Joint Commission for International Accredited Hospitals and National Accredited Board of Hospitals can avail the assistance.