Indian prime minister Narendra Modi has made it easier for all the SAARC country citizens to travel to India. The farsighted Prime Minister has probably seen the opportunity of economical growth through medical tourism. Due to the changes implemented by him the patients of forty-three countries will now get visa within a very brief period of time.
The new visa policies for SAARC member countries will not only give a boost to travel and tourism industry but also help the corporate hospitals in earning more revenues from foreign patients. Previously the red taped visa procuring used to discourage many medical tourists from traveling to India. A big obstacle from the growth path of Indian medical tourism industry has been removed.
Too many protocols are bad for business
The main players of healthcare industry of India, who cater to foreign patients, had repeatedly expressed their concern regarding the government’s visa protocols. Medical tourism is a serious decision for the patients. They have to travel miles, leaving their loved ones behind. The thought of getting medical treatments in a foreign land is scary. On top of that they had to endure rigorous visa procuring procedures and wait for many weeks for finally getting it.
Many patients used to drop the idea of traveling mid-way due to delay in procuring visa or chose some other medical tourism destination than India. Narendra Modi’s revised visa policy for SAARC country citizens has addressed all these problems. It will surely help in increasing the number of patients who visit India for healthcare facilities in the coming years.
Simplified rules means more revenues
Image Source : TimesOfIndia.IndiaTimes.Com
Earlier, medical tourists had to wait for weeks and even months for receiving their visa. The procedure involved more regulations than now and created confusion among the medical tourists. Narendra Modi’s new visa policy has made it possible for patients from Australia, Brazil, Japan and Germany to apply for visa online. Within four days will get confirmed and they will be able to collect it on reaching the airport. The previous uncertainties related with visa procurement are now gone. With the obstacles gone hopefully more tourists will now feel encouraged to travel to India for medical treatments. Modi’s strategy is sure to increase the neat revenue earnings of the Indian medical tourism industry.
There are a number of other problems
Visa procurement is not the only problem that the medical tourism industry players are facing. There are also a number of other problems which the government will have to address for the overall growth of this industry. One of the major constrains are insurance and cross-border payment, connectivity and transportation. Another disturbing issue is the lack of communication and coordination among the key players of medical tourism industry such as hotel owners, hospital authorities and airlines.
There is no standardized pricing policy. Prices of treatments vary from one private hospital to another. This creates confusion and makes the medical tourists worry about quality of services. Narendra Modi should also try to implement a centrally governed, national accreditation system for the private hospitals. More money has to be invested in the improvement of internal healthcare infrastructure of the country for gaining the trust of foreign patients.
Hospital authorities too have to come forward with innovative and convenient packages for their foreign patients. Services like full time translators and pick and drop from the airport are necessary tool of attracting foreigners. Now that visa is no more a barrier for medical tourists, hopefully the government will focus on the other relevant issues.
The new visa policy for SAARC country citizens, implemented by Narendra Modi, will surely help the boom of Indian medical tourism industry. However, there are still many challenges which have to be tackled for smooth sailing.