Govt identifies key health areas

Knee and hip replacement to attract global medical tourists

Govt identifies key health areas

Thirteen Indian hospitals accredited with Joint Commission International, including two in Bangalore, will be showcased globally as the best places to have surgeries or treatments in these three areas in the country.  While 70-odd hospitals accredited with the National Accreditation Board for Hospitals (NABH) will act as the next range of best hospitals for patients from abroad.Among the 13 Joint Comission International-accredited hospitals in India are the Apollo Hospitals in Bangalore, Delhi, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Ludhiana; Wockhardt Hospitals in Bangalore and Mumbai; Asian Heart Institute in Mumbai; Fortis Hospital in Mohali; Grewal Eye Institute in Chandigarh; Shroff Eye Hospital in Mumbai; and Sri Ramachandra Medical Centre in Chennai.

Ministry wakes up
With medical tourists spending as much as US$ 15,000 to 20,000 each as against a normal tourists’ expenditure of US$ 1,500, the Ministry of Tourism has woken up to the potential of this specific and specialised sectors of the tourism industry.
“India is poised for a great take-off in medical tourism, as the waiting period for complex surgeries in the three fields here is much less and the cost factor is one fourth of what it is in Western countries,” says Union Tourism Secretary Sujit Banerjee.

While Joint Comission International-accredited hospitals may be the most preferred by medical tourists, there are at least ten very good hospitals for hip and knee replacement, 50 for cardiac treatment and 20 for neurology-related treatment, he adds.
  It is this realisation about the potential of the sector that will see Tourism Minister Kumari Selja give a thrust on it during her visit to Scandinavian countries this month end, while Minister of State for Tourism Sultan Ahmed will do the same during his proposed visit to Gulf countries in October.“The African continent is another place which is absolutely virgin territory for us in this regard,” Banerjee says.
The ministry is also looking at the possibility of having a special section in the Tourism Department website giving information, including names of top doctors and their contacts, to give a further boost to medical tourism, he says.

The great take-off
*Knee and hip replacement, cardiac surgeries and neurological disorders identified as focus areas.
*The three chosen based on the fact that most queries were regarding these health issues.
*13 JCI-accredited hospitals to be promoted as the best places for treatment.
*About 70 NABH-accredited hospitals to act as the next range of best hospitals.
*Two hospitals from Bangalore among the JCI’s list of hospitals to be promoted.

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