Apex industry body Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham) has called for developing a multi-speciality health city at Ahmedabad; based on the public-private partnership model to harness the medical tourism potential of the state and bring it on the international tourism map.
This proposal by Assocham envisages various super-specialty hospitals for patients seeking medical treatment of international standards by highly trained healthcare professionals at an affordable price. The concept also calls for establishment of several hospitals and specialty clinics including research and rehabilitation centres, pharmaceutical clinics and spas with furnished apartments, villas and star-rated hotels including shopping malls and complexes.
“This move will not only help Gujarat secure a bigger share in India’s lucrative medical tourism industry but also encourage reverse brain drain by attracting non-resident Indian doctors, experts settled abroad to participate in this venture,” said Bhagyesh Soneji, chairperson of Assocham Gujarat Council.
The Indian medical tourism industry is currently poised at around Rs 4,500 crore and is likely to be worth Rs 10,800 crore by 2015, according to the study. According to a recently released Assocham study on ‘Emerging Trends In Domestic Medical Tourism Sector,’ the inflow of medical tourists in India is growing at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 40 per cent and is likely to cross 32 lakh by 2015 from the current level of 8.5 lakh. As per the study, states like Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, West Bengal and New Delhi are fast emerging as India’s best medical centres with several hospitals and specialty clinics coming up in and around their cities in the past few years.
According to the proposal, the state government may rope in various embassies, high commissions to enlist the support of health ministries in foreign countries to promote medical tourism aggressively. Besides, the state government should provide financial and fiscal incentives to the healthcare industry capable of creating large number of jobs and earning foreign exchange.