Foreign patients in AIIMS on rise

The number of foreigners getting medical treatment at the prestigious All India Institute of Medical Sciences in the capital is on the rise for the past three years.

The number of foreign nationals treated at AIIMS has gone up to 544 in 2012 against 394 in 2010. The total number of foreigners treated at the institute in 2011 was 491.

Health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said during the first two months of the current year, as many as 79 foreigners have already been treated at AIIMS.

Many foreign patients come to India to get cheap medical treatment as the country is increasingly being favoured as a medical tourism destination. However, the total number of tourists coming for medical treatment is still in its infancy, and the total percentage of medical tourists is less compared to the total tourists coming to the country.

Azad denied that a large number of foreign patients getting treatment in AIIMS at subsidised rates got themselves falsely registered as Indians in collusion with brokers and touts to avail the facility.

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