Better deals soon for medical tourists

by Himanshi Dhawan ,  The Times of India | 2009-04-06

NEW DELHI: This will bring cheer even to a failing heart. For people travelling to India for a heart bypass surgery or a bone marrow transplant, better deals are in the offing. The tourism ministry has been in discussions with major hospitals to offer incentivised deals as part of Visit India 2009.

"We have met representatives from major hospitals and I am waiting for their offer. We would like to include medical tourism in the Visit India incentive scheme," Sujit Banerjee, tourism secretary, said.

The ministry has held discussions with hospitals like Wockhardt, Apollo, Lakeshore, Moolchand, Manipal, Sevenhills and Sir Gangaram. Over 1.5 lakh medical tourists travelled to India in 2002 alone, bringing in earnings of $300 million. Since then, the number of such travellers has been increasing by at least 25% every year. A CII-McKinsey report projects that earnings through medical tourism would go up to $2 billion by 2012.

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