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Maharashtra govt soon to announce medical tourism policy to boost health tourism in the state

Laxmi Yadav, Mumbai
Friday, February 9, 2018, 08:00 Hrs  [IST]

Buoyed by growing world class healthcare facilities in the state offering high quality and affordable healthcare, the Maharashtra government has stepped up efforts to introduce medical tourism policy to provide a major boost to the health tourism sector.

Around 50,000 patients from abroad visit Maharashtra annually for heart, orthopaedic, cancer and other treatments.

The policy aims at providing the best services to the patients and their families while bringing stakeholders including healthcare facilities, hospitality, logistic service providers etc together in an efficient and transparent manner that skips middlemen and unneeded fees.

A committee has been set up which comprises several key officials from the state government including director of Maharashtra medical tourism, principal secretary, medical education and drugs, director of medical educations of health services, director of health services and Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) commissioner to draft the policy.

The committee recently held a meeting with stakeholders including representatives from private and charitable hospitals in this regard.

As part of the slew of measures that will be taken to make medical tourism sector transparent and accountable and subsequently boost the sector, the government is working on a web portal that will list NABH hospitals in the state with varied treatments they offer and hospitality and logistic service providers etc. This will serve as a single window platform for foreign patients where they can get information about hospitals and their treatment programmes, transport, hospitality and logistic service providers etc, said Aashutosh Rathod, Director of Maharashtra Tourism.

Rathod said the objective is to provide a realistic view about healthcare facilities, cost, duration of treatment, visa etc. Patients from abroad can contact hospitals listed on the portal and get details of treatments and their cost. The portal will log in information about every patient, the nature of disease, arrival date etc, he added.

Hospitals are required to submit details of foreign patients including their ailments, treatment procedures and expenses to the portal within 24 hours of arrival of the patients in the hospitals. The portal will also allow patients to review a hospital, doctor and register grievances, he concluded.

The government is also planning to set up kiosks at the international airport to ease travel and logistics.

Joy Chakraborty, chief operating officer, Hinduja Hospital said the treatment cost often becomes a big challenge for patients, so a website will ensure that if there is a significant cost variation, the government can ask for an explanation.

Besides this, the government is also coming up with a wellness hub spreading over 100 acres in Igatpuri to attract foreign medical tourists.


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