The $9-billion India’s health & medical tourism industry stands still under the severe blow of the corona outbreak while the NITI Aayog and Ministry of Commerce had recently included the medical travel industry in one of the 12 ‘champion sectors’ they wished to promote under the services promotion council.
The situation was discussed in a meeting by the Foundation of Healthcare and Wellness Promotion which is an association of medical tourism players.
It is estimated that medical value travel which includes patients travelling to India for treatment both in modern medicine and AYUSH sector, is $3 billion market for India.
Dr Abhik Moitra, President of HBG Medical Assistance, one of the medical tourism industry players, said that the geographies from where their patients arrive, — Africa, Central Asia and most of West Asia — are still in early stages of coronavirus. There, the cycle may last even longer as they started late.
Expecting business to start back in one month’s time is a distant dream and the industry will suffer heavily for the next six months and may take even longer for patients to find courage to travel again.
Amit Sharma, founder and CEO of eExpediseHealthcare, another MVT company, said that in the last decades, the healthcare industry has seen innovative and technological advancement in the clinical aspect. Many foreign patients come to India for affordable treatment, but the increase in coronavirus cases is taking a toll on medical tourism. The $9-billion Indian’s health & medical tourism industry stands still with the a world epidemic.
The Medical Tourism players requested the government to Recognise Medical Value Tourism companies as an independent industry and to provide financial stimulus and support. COVID impact council should be involved along with FICCI to support the MVT industry.