New Delhi: With an aim to improve medical tourism in the country, the Ministry of Tourism has formulated a National Strategy and Roadmap for Medical and Wellness Tourism.
India has been ranked 10th in the Medical Tourism Index (MTI) for 2020-2021 out of 46 destinations in the world by the Medical Tourism Association.
Medical tourism (valued at $60-80 billion globally) primarily addresses the “poor health” end of the market, with patients travelling to another place for specific medical treatments.
Wellness tourism, on the other hand, attracts those seeking destinations that extend their wellness lifestyle and help them proactively maintain and improve their health and well-being.
As far as medical tourism is concerned, India currently has a $5-6 billion market (2019 figure) that may rise to $13 billion by 2026.
The Ministry of Tourism has formulated a National Strategy and Roadmap for Medical and Wellness Tourism in order to boost Medical Tourism in the country. The Strategy has identified the following key pillars:
i. Develop a brand for India as a wellness destination
ii. Strengthen the ecosystem for medical and wellness tourism
iii. Enable digitalization by setting up Online Medical Value Travel (MVT) Portal
iv. Enhancement of accessibility for Medical Value Travel
v. Promoting Wellness Tourism
vi. Governance and Institutional Framework
The Government of India liberalized the e-Tourist Visa Scheme pursuant to the Cabinet approval on 30.11.2016 and the e-Tourist Visa (eTV) scheme was renamed to e-Visa scheme and at present it has eMedical Visa and e-Medical Attendant Visa as sub-categories of e-visa.
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In the case of e-Medical Visa and for e-Medical Attendant Visa, triple entry is permitted and extension may be granted up to 6 months on case to case basis on merits of each case by the Foreigners Regional Registration Officer (FRRO)/Foreigners Registration Officer (FRO) concerned. Medical Attendant Visa was co-terminus with the validity of the principal e-Visa holder.
(This Information was given by Union Minister of Tourism , Mr. G Kishan Reddy in Lok Sabha)
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Further, as conveyed by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, it is coordinating with other Ministries and stakeholders to promote medical value travel in the country. Several rounds of stakeholder consultations have been conducted with line Ministries, Hospitals, MVT facilitators, Insurance Companies and NABH etc. to identify the challenges and opportunities in the sector.
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