HYDERABAD: In view of a massive rise in number of medical tourists visiting the city every year, the Centre is all set to launch a facilitation centre in January 2018. The centre will be launched by the government as part of its new policy to boost medical tourism across the country. Over the last five years, Hyderabad and the rest of the districts have seen a 80% rise in tourism, data shows.
Officials said that as part of the policy, six facilitation centres in Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Delhi and Goa are planned. “The facilitation centre will provide medical tourists accommodation, hospital and doctor details, registration facilitation, translators, travel and other provisions. We are also focusing on promoting homestay facility for medical tourists to bring down their cost of stay,” said a senior official from the health ministry.
There are 11 major hospitals which attract the highest number of medical tourists in the city. While a majority of hospitals provide facilities to foreign patients, the Centre’s centre is viewed as a move to promote Hyderabad for medical tourism. “Hyderabad lags in terms of connectivity. Language is also a major barrier for many patients,” said Mahendar Pala, group head – marketing, CARE Hospitals. “Having a facilitation centre wherein patients can avail facilities and details about hospitals will help in promoting Hyderabad as a brand for medical tourism,” Pala said.
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The Telangana government is also planning to have an integrated medical tourism hub in Hyderabad. The tourism department had held few preliminary meetings with the government as well as corporate hospitals to discuss the possibility of setting up the facility. Sources said that the hub is proposed to be set up in the Sports Tower building in Gachibowli. “It will serve as a onestop centre. Facilities such as medical appointments and post-medical treatment requirements will be available, apart from coordination with hospital staff and translators,” said atourism department official.
Industry experts claim foreign medical tourists who come with an attendant spend up to Rs 10 lakh towards travel, medical costs, accommodation.