Maharashtra is aiming to emerge as the top destination for medical tourism through health care facilities, well-trained medical professionals and low cost of delivery, a senior official said today.
"The state aims to be the number one destination for medical tourism through state-of-the-art health care facilities, well-trained medical professionals and low cost of delivery compared to Tamil Nadu and Delhi," Principal Secretary, Tourism and Culture, Valsa Nair said at Medical Tourism Conclave here.
The Indian medical tourism industry is expected to grow from current USD 3 million to USD 8 billion attracting medical tourist from Bangladesh, Iraq, GCC, CIS region and Africa, she said.
"Our objective is to provide infrastructure, hospitals and medical facilities in Pune, Nagpur and other centres across the state," she added.
She said Maharashtra is planning to create a web platform which will provide various services and facilities to global patients seeking assistance in India.
"Apart from the Medical Tourism Council, the IMC Chamber of Commerce and Industry is also looking into creating a task force which will put together its suggestions for drafting the necessary and appropriate policies for the promotion of medical tourism in the state," IMC President Deepak Premnarayen said.
He said Bangladesh and Afghanistan dominate the Indian Medical Value Travel (MVT) with 34 per cent share.
In India, medical tourists contribute less than 0.1 per cent of the nation's GDP, he said.
With a concerted effort India can target a GDP share of 2 per cent from medical tourism, he said.
However, lack of unified pricing, visa policies, and the tussle between public and private hospitals present a challenge, which needs to be addressed, he pointed out.
Growing at 20-25 per cent per annum, the medical tourism industry in India is one of the fastest growing healthcare markets across the globe, said Premnarayen, adding medical tourists from Asia, GCC, Africa and the SAARC regions are increasingly opting for India as the preferred destination for advances medical treatments and services.