The announcement of immediate medical visas for patients from SAARC countries will accelerate medical value travel
Apollo Hospitals has appreciated the announcement of immediate medical visas for patients from SAARC countries, cutting red tape on medical tourism. Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the recent SAARC summit announced that medical visas will be granted immediately for the patient and attendant from SAARC countries, without any delay.
The healthcare industry, at large, had always expressed apprehension about protocols and procedures that foreign patients had to go through to avail medical treatment in India. While medical and clinical excellences have always attracted patients, strict protocols and stringent rules diverted patients to Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia.
Welcoming the move, Dr Prathap C Reddy, Chairman Apollo Hospitals Group said; “Apollo Hospitals would like to thank Prime Minister Narendra Modi for this well-timed announcement. This will give a huge boost to medical tourism in India, which we at Apollo have been aggressively propagating in promoting India as a ‘global health destination’. We unite exceptional clinical success rates and superior technology with century-old traditions of Eastern care and warmth. True to its founding principles, the group has made quality healthcare accessible to the people all over the world, which will become easier with this move by the Government.”
A substantial number of patients are from Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Maldives and Pakistan come to India for treatment. These are countries that lack tertiary care and hence patients come looking for medical expertise and world class healthcare. Most of the patients come in for orthopaedic, oncology and cardiac care. However, the size of the segment is considerably high and demand exists for all super specialities.
Healthcare, as the Prime Minister pointed out, can play a crucial role in building connectivity and strengthening India’s relations with the SAARC countries. While easing trade and business regulations will boost economic development, reducing red tape on medical travel and tourism will also go a long way in catalysing growth in the healthcare sector. Life, as we have always advocated, is priceless and no borders and boundaries should prevent reach of medicine for the needy.
EH News Bureau