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Task force on medical tourism set up

Government has set up a task force on medical tourism which will suggest measures to promote India as a healthcare destination.

india Updated: Sep 27, 2005 12:37 IST

Government has set up a task force on medical tourism which will suggest measures to promote India as a healthcare destination, Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss said here today.

"The task force under the chairmanship of Director General of Health Services will assess the opportunities for promoting India as health destination," Ramadoss said at the ASSOCHAM Conference on Health Tourism.

The task force would work in an inter-ministerial approach with inputs from various ministries such as tourism, external affairs, railways and civil aviation, he said, adding it would come out with the report soon.

In a bid to standardise the healthcare services, a pre-requisite to attract foreign patients, the government was working on a Clinical Establishment Act which would make registration of all hospitals and diagnostic facilities compulsory, the minister said.

He said India was now getting patients even from the developed world due to high cost of treatment there.

"While Cuba has promoted medical tourism through its marketing network, Thailand has focused on superior consumer experiences and brand equity. South Africa specialises in medical safaris," he said, adding there was a need to evolve imaginative packages given country's rich cultural heritage and places of scenic beauty and architectural interests.

To rationalise the flow of tourist traffic, the Ministry of Home Affairs had introduced a new category of visa called "medical visa" which can be given for specific purpose of medical treatment, he said.

First Published: Sep 27, 2005 12:37 IST