India has introduced a medical visa aimed at assisting overseas visitors to travel to the country for cut-price hospital treatment. An initial visa is available for up to a year and can be used for up to three visits during the 12-month period.
The Government of India estimates that, on average, Indian hospitals offer treatment for 20% of what it would cost in the United States, with even bigger discounts available on cosmetic surgery. The cost of heart surgery in India is $6,000 compared with $30,000 in the United States.
Speaking at World Travel Market, Leena Nandan, Joint Secretary to the Government of India, Ministry of Tourism, said a task force had now been formed to assess the benefits of actively promoting India as a medical tourism destination. “It will be looking at how we can best develop this opportunity whilst ensuring that all hospitals involved offer a uniformly high standard of treatment.”
India is also keen to promote the more leisure-based health tourism focusing on well-being, spas and traditional therapies.
Said Ms Nandan: “The Indian systems of medicine including Ayurveda, Panchakarma, yoga and rejuvenation therapy are among the most ancient medical treatments in the world.
“Health tourism is already being promoted as a key selling point in Kerala where a number of hotels feature Ayurveda centres and it’s a facility a lot of holidaymakers are now looking for.”
Sharmaji is deeply involved with Ayurveda since 15 years. His interest and passion led him to launch AyurvedNews.com and AyurShop.in about a decade ago. Most of the Ayurveda news and articles on this site are approved or published by him.