Visa procedures to be simplified

Our Bureau

New Delhi, Aug. 31

Indian hospitals will soon be accredited under the Quality Council of India to cater to the growing number of tourists choosing India as a healthcare destination. The Ministries of Health, Tourism, External Affairs and Aviation together would be working to promote India as a destination for global healthcare.

Medical Tourism

"Medical value travel is likely to become a Rs 10,000 crore industry by 2010, registering a sharp growth of 25 per cent per year. In addition, availing medical services in India costs about a tenth of what it does in the West," said the Union Minister for Tourism, Ms Ambika Soni, while unveiling the Incredible India Brochure on Medical Tourism at a meeting organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the Indian Healthcare Foundation recently.

The Union Health Minister, Mr Anbumani Ramadoss, said the Government was considering a Clinical Establishment Bill that would mandate accreditation for hospitals down to the district and village levels as well as ensure quality healthcare at the grassroots. The Ministry of External Affairs and the Ministry of Aviation on their part would make the visa procedure easier for tourists coming to India for healthcare purposes.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated September 1, 2006)
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