$6.5 bn investment in pipeline for medical tourism industry

$6.5 bn investment in pipeline for medical tourism industry

New Delhi: The union government on 13 November said a total investment of $6.5 billion are in the pipeline for medical tourism industry in the country.

“As much as $6.5 billion are in the pipeline for setting up affordable hospitals and budget hotels for patients’ relatives in the country," Tourism Minister Ambika Soni said here while addressing the CII Health Summit.

She said so far three international parties have evinced interest in setting up 1,000-bed facilities in Delhi and NCR.

“They will meet government by the end of this year and they will also set up budget accommodation facilities for patients," she added. However, she did not disclose the names of these firms.

One lakh budget rooms and 50,000 star accommodation rooms are also coming up, the minister said without divulging the details.

Commenting on problems faced by the medical tourism industry, Soni said: “The biggest deterrent for foreign investors is the unavailability of a single window clearance system." The government is working towards making a system in which investing in India becomes easier, she added.

The minister also pointed out that the medical tourism industry faced a lot of legal implications, mainly by the doctors, while treating foreign tourists. The hospital management needs to be more transparent and ensure that profile of doctors are easily made available, she said.

“Nobody can be fully satisfied with the treatment and legal implications do arise sometimes. We must have a proper legal framework to deal with this," Soni said.