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National Strategy and Roadmap for Medical and Wellness Tourism

  • 23 Mar 2023
  • 3 min read

For Prelims: National Strategy and Roadmap for Medical and Wellness Tourism, Medical Tourism Index (MTI), Medical Visa, National Accreditation Board for Hospitals & Healthcare Providers (NABH).
For Mains: Medical and Wellness Tourism, Steps Taken for the Promotion of Medical and Wellness Tourism.

Why in News?

India has been ranked 10th in the Medical Tourism Index (MTI) for 2020-2021 out of 46 destinations of the world by the Medical Tourism Association.

What are the Key Pillars of the Strategy?

  • The National Strategy and Roadmap for Medical and Wellness Tourism has identified the following key pillars for the development of medical-value travel in the country.
  • Key Pillars:
    • Developing a brand for India as a wellness destination.
    • Strengthening the ecosystem for medical and wellness tourism
    • Enabling digitalization by setting up Online Medical Value Travel (MVT) Portal
    • Enhancing accessibility for Medical Value Travel
    • Promoting Wellness Tourism
    • Governance and Institutional Framework
  • Foreign Tourists Arrival on medical purpose increases from 1.83 lakh in 2020 to 3.04 lakh in 2021.

What is Medical and Wellness Tourism?

  • About:
    • Medical and wellness tourism refer to the practice of travelling to another location to receive medical treatment or to improve one's health and wellbeing.
    • These types of tourism are growing in popularity as people become more interested in alternative healthcare options and seek out high-quality medical care at a lower cost.
  • Issues related to Medical and Wellness Tourism in India:
    • Language and Cultural Barriers: Many medical tourists may face language and cultural barriers, making it difficult to communicate effectively with healthcare providers.
      • This can lead to misunderstandings and miscommunications that could impact the quality of care received.
    • Ethical Concerns: There have been concerns about the exploitation of vulnerable populations in medical tourism, particularly in the case of organ transplantation.
  • Steps Taken for the Promotion of Medical and Wellness Tourism:
    • 'Medical Visa’ has been introduced, which can be given for specific purposes to foreign travellers coming to India for medical treatment.
      • ‘E- Medical Visa’ and ‘E-Medical Attendant Visa’ have also been introduced for 156 countries.
    • The Ministry of Tourism provides financial Assistance under Market Development Assistance Scheme to Medical Tourism Service Providers accredited by National Accreditation Board for Hospitals & Healthcare Providers (NABH) for participation in Medical/ Tourism activities.

Source: PIB

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