NEW DELHI: Union Minister of State for External Affairs Gen VK Singh (retd) said the Indian missions abroad have been asked to promote alternative modes of treatment such as Ayush and Ayurveda.
“On part of Ministry of External affairs (MEA), we have asked all our chairs and missions to take a serious look to promote Ayush and Ayurveda,” he said.
He said 25 Indian missions have got Ayush facilitation centers.
“…and these are being managed in a manner in which we would like them to become much greater than what they are today,” Singh said while inaugurating an ASSOCHAM Conference on MEDiTravel – 2017′ here.
Singh said MEA is aware of the need for simplifying VISA procedures and has sensitised all its missions.
He said the government is open for suggestions and recommendations to make things better for people who are coming for treatment from abroad.
“Misuse and abuse create problems for any new initiative,” he added.
Singh said the field has got tremendous potential which can make India the hub of medical facilities and allow rest of the world to come here.
Singh also said, “We have got both the traditional medicine as well as alternative therapies and there are people in the world who look towards India as the country for these cost-effective treatments.”
“The tourist looks for the facility which is at par with the best in the world, which is friendly, the staff who can guide you correctly and the doctors who are not going to overcharge you,” he said.
In his address at the ASSOCHAM summit, Amarendra Khatua, Secretary (Special Assignment), MEA and DG, ICCR, stressed the Medi travel industry now needs concentrated and coordinated approach for growth, revenue generation and quality service.
Today, he said, the pharma market is about USD 40 billion.
He said the average growth rate is 14 per cent per year at CAGR and in real terms medical visa arrivals increase almost at the rate of 80 per cent every year since 2010.
Medical tourism not only results in increased foreign exchange earnings, increased tourism revenue earning and employment generation but also improves standards and accountability in the local health services and facilities and growing awareness, Khatua added.
“It also creates great India brand,” he said.