The Ministry of Tourism, Government of India has witnessed a growth in the medical tourism segment. In 2017, the foreign tourist arrivals for medical purpose was 4, 95, 056 compared to 4,27,014 in 2016 and 2,33,918 in 2015.
Realizing the potential to develop and promote Wellness and Medical Tourism as a niche product in the country, the Ministry of Tourism has formulated guidelines for the promotion of Medical Tourism. As per the guidelines following assistance is provided to eligible stakeholders;
Financial Assistance for participating in fairs/events/road shows approved by the Ministry in the overseas markets under the Marketing Development Assistance (MDA) Scheme. Financial Assistance in the ratio 50:50 for making publicity and promotional material subject to a maximum ceiling of Rs.10.00 Lakh. Financial Assistance up to a maximum of Rs.25.00 Lakh on 50:50 sharing basis for organizing Wellness & Medical Tourism promotion shows. Permission for the use of Incredible India logo for the Wellness & Medical Tourism promotion events, films, literature etc.
Financial support for training courses focused on skill providing, skill up-gradation and skill certification for the persons engaged in Wellness & Medical Tourism sector as per the Capacity Building for Service Providers (CBSP) Scheme guidelines of the Ministry of Tourism. Provision of space to Wellness and/or Medical Tourism Associations at major international fairs for promoting Wellness & Medical Tourism at cost.
In addition to above, the Ministry of Tourism has taken various steps to boost medical tourism which inter-alia include; Launch of campaigns in the international markets including for medical tourism under the Incredible India brand-line; conducting Road Shows, Know India Seminars etc.
Ministry produces brochures, CDs, films and other publicity materials for promotion of Medical & Health Tourism. Medical tourism is being promoted on social media across various platforms.
Department of Commerce and Services Export Promotion Council have launched a Healthcare Portal www.indiahealthcaretourism.com, as a single source platform providing comprehensive information of medical travelers on the top healthcare institutions in the country in various languages.
Government of India launched e-Tourist Visa in September, 2014 for easing of the visa regime has been expanded to include medical visits as well. Medical and Medical Attendant Visa have been introduced to ease the travel process of medical tourists.
In order to provide dedicated institutional framework to take forward medical tourism, a ‘National Medical and Wellness Tourism Board’ has been constituted which works as an umbrella organization that promotes this segment of tourism in an organized manner.
This information was given by Minister of State (I/C) for Culture & Tourism, Prahlad Singh Patel in reply to a question in Rajya Sabha.