Goa looks at medical tourism to boost footfalls

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Panaji | April 21, 2016 3:43 PM

Goa offers certain lifestyle to its inhabitants and travellers. That makes this place the best choice for medical tourism.

HospitalThe modern medical institutions set up in Goa regularly promote medical tourism and wellness packages. (Reuters)

 

After beaches and hinterland, Goa government is now looking at promoting medical tourism, encashing on the state-of-the-art healthcare facilities in the state.

“Medical tourism is an upcoming tourism segment as several super specialty medical facilities are being opened up in the state both by the government and private sector,” Director of Tourism Sanjiv Gauns Dessai told PTI.

“World-class medical facilities, trained professionals and top quality infrastructure. All this makes Goa the place for medical tourism. The modern medical institutions set up in Goa regularly promote medical tourism and wellness packages. Even the government-run Goa Medical College, offers specialised treatments that attracts patients from all over the world,” he added.

According to Dessai the government ensures that top-class medical facilities and doctors are brought to the state and all credentials are verified and examined before any institution opens up for medical treatments to tourists or general public.

The director said the department has now laid special focus on this segment, which has the potential to increase the footfalls by considerable numbers.

“Goa’s health sector has been keeping pace with scientific advances to meet the needs of international tourists. The ambitious healthcare programme identifies hospitals that provide modern facilities and in-patient care and service at par with international standards,” he said.

The officer also said the state is poised to become wellness destination.

“One can now choose from many healthcare packages such as dentistry, cardiac care, cosmetic surgery, yoga, complete body heath profile, women’s health plan, cancer profile, ayurvedic, homeopathic and others,” he added.

While the state has been attracting investment in the medical tourism sector, Malaysia’s alternative healthcare centre Chadsha Tri Health is the latest entrant.

“Goa offers certain lifestyle to its inhabitants and travellers. That makes this place the best choice for medical tourism destination and for the investors like us to put in their resources,” said Benjamin Patrick, Founder and Managing Director, Chadsha Tri Health which has recently opened its facility in the state.

Patrick feels Goa can be a hub for alternative medicine for the tourists as the state has a history of ayurvedic treatments. “People can come here to relax and also get treated,” he added.

For several local medical practitioners, the medical tourism has become part of their business without any special efforts. “Although 20 per cent of my patients are foreigners, and my colleagues acknowledge me as one of the pioneers of medical tourism in Goa, I do not consider myself as a ‘medical tourism dentist’, said Dr Hubert Gomes, a local dentist, who has been treating foreigners for decades.

“The foreigners who come to me are mostly through the “word of mouth” publicity of my satisfied patients. I got my first foreigner patient 32 years ago, and since then they have been recommending me to their friends and relatives,” he said.

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