Karnataka set to get its own medical and wellness tourism policy

DH News Service, Bengaluru, Oct 13 2017, 2:02 IST

Visitors at the exhibition 'Advantage Healthcare India 2017' in Bengaluru on Thursday. DH photo

Visitors at the exhibition ‘Advantage Healthcare India 2017’ in Bengaluru on Thursday. DH photo

The state government is likely to announce a medical and wellness tourism policy soon.

“There are 19 NABH-accredited hospitals in Bengaluru alone. Karnataka is home to 56 medical colleges and offers the highest number of MBBS seats in India. Considering this, we will shortly come out with a medical and wellness tourism policy for Karnataka. It proposes to set up a marketing fund for promoting the state as a medical value travel destination and give financial assistance to entrepreneurs for wellness tourism,” announced Gaurav Gupta, Principal Secretary, Department of IT, Biotechnology and Tourism, government of Karnataka.

“I congratulate the Karnataka government for its medical and wellness tourism policy. We would also like to bring out a similar policy at the Central level next year,” said Satyajeet Rajan, Director General, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India.

The announcements were made at the ‘Advantage Healthcare India 2017’ event organised in Bengaluru from October 12-14. As of 2015, the country’s medical travel market was estimated to be around $3 billion and is expected to touch $9 billion by 2020, according to FICCI-QuintilesIMS knowledge paper on ‘Medical Tourism in India’, which was released at the event.

The three-day event is witnessing the participation from over 70 countries and 700 hosted buyers from across the world.

Addressing the gathering, Rita Teaotia, Secretary, Dept of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, said, “While the size of the Indian medical value travel industry is currently $3 billion, the scale of the entire Indian healthcare industry is $110 billion. It creates a value chain that creates jobs for Indians and broadens the scope of other sectors, including tourism, education, etc.”