Union Commerce Secretary Dr Anup Wadhawan has urged the healthcare industry to set up an online portal to facilitate international patients coming to India for treatment on the sidelines of 5th International Summit on Medical Value Travel -Advantage Healthcare India 2019.
The summit was organized by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) jointly with Union Commerce Ministry. FICCI is a non-profit association of business organisations in India.
The portal will have relevant information and services to help patients plan their travel and treatment, the Dr Wadhawan emphasised adding that Medical value travel is beyond just treatment, it’s treatment-plus and the industry should see what are the qualitative aspects that need to be improved in our healthcare services.
Dr Wadhawan informed that India has significant medical infrastructure yet the majority of these are in the metro cities. To provide comprehensive medical coverage, it is imperative that rural areas should also have access to the latest and affordable healthcare.
Sangeeta Godbole, director general, Services Export Promotion Council (SEPC), Government of India said, “India has very strong traditional healthcare that will help in furthering the cause of healthcare not only in our country but also in the rest of the world.”
Dr Sangita Reddy, president-elect, FICCI and joint managing director, Apollo Hospitals Enterprise Limited said, “India is unparalleled in delivering quality medical care at one-tenth of the global cost and aims to transform this sector so that India becomes the epicenter of medical value travel. “Concepts of telemedicine and online consultations are growing tremendously,” she added.
Dr Harish Pillai, chair, FICCI MVT Committee and chief executive officer, Aster India, Aster DM Healthcare Ltd said, “The Indian medical and wellness market is growing and medical value travel is also adding to this growth.”
“India has emerged as one of the fastest growing markets in medical value travel and the National Medical Value Travel Committee at FICCI has been giving recommendations to the government, advocating policy change in the sector,” added Dr Pillai.
Dr Narottam Puri, adviser, Medical Value Travel (MVT) and Health Services, FICCI and Ex-chairman, National Accreditation Board for Hospitals and Healthcare Providers (NABH), while introducing the ‘FICCI Code of Ethical Conduct by Indian Hospitals said, “Hospitals signing this code provide a commitment of morality and ethics in the management of patients.”
Dr Devlina Chakravarty, Former Co-chair, FICCI MVT Committee, and managing director, Artemis Hospitals said, “Indian hospitals have worked hard to deal with the issue of infection in hospitals and today the rate of infection has come down due to the stringent anti-microbial policy brought in by major hospitals across the country.”
FICCI-EY Knowledge Paper on India- Building Best Practices in Healthcare Services Globally was also released during the event.
According to the report, Medical value travel (MVT) has evolved rapidly in the past two decades. Many countries, especially developing counties, are trying to establish themselves as major MVT hubs. As healthcare turns costlier in developed countries like USA and UK, India’s MVT market is expected to become US$ 9 billion by 2020.
Major destination cities in India are Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, and Kolkata. A total of 27% of medical travellers visit Maharashtra out of which 80% go to Mumbai. Chennai attracts nearly 15% while Kerala handles around 5-7%.
Major source markets for India are countries from Southeast Asia, Middle East, Africa, and SAARC region. More than 50% of medical travelers coming to India are from Bangladesh.
India’s offerings in the MVT space have led it to be one of the most popular MVT destinations. These offerings include affordable treatment, service and care and tourism.
The three-day event included exhibitions and witnessed participation of over 400 buyers and 200 exhibitors from 70 countries.