Despite availability of low-cost high quality healthcare, the city is losing out on the medical tourism boom in the country as all foreign patient traffic is getting diverted towards Mumbai and Chennai due to lack of an international airport in Pune.
This was observed by Dr Parag Sancheti, professor and chairman, Sancheti Institute for Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation (SIOR), on Friday at a press meet held to announce a two-day seminar beginning on Saturday. Organised by Sancheti Institute for Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation Hospital Management Alumni Association, Pune (SIORHMAA), the theme for the event is 'Transformation of healthcare - an Indian perspective.'
"For the last six years we have been hearing about the international airport, but there is no sign of it. We don’t mind an international airport even in Navi Mumbai. That too will help in curtailing the distance between Mumbai and Pune," Sancheti said.
He said currently patients arriving at Mumbai international airport preferred to go to Breach Candy Hospital or other noted hospitals that are almost two hours' drive from the airport.
"We try to convince them that it would take almost the same time to come to Pune and get treated at a lower cost. However, they are not convinced. The mental barrier of covering 100 km by road to get treated is very strong and hard to breach," Sancheti said.