Fortis Hospital,Bengaluru gets Medical Tourism Award

Fortis Hospital, Bannerghatta, Bengaluru is now recognized as the ‘Best Medical Tourism Hospital. At the recently concluded Karnataka tourism awards 2016 organised by Federation of Karnataka Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FKCCI) Fortis Hospitals bagged the honours.

The award was presented by Priyank Kharge, IT-BT Minister to individual and organizations that have played a key role in the development of state’s tourism.

“It is an honor to be also recognized by FKCCI after being accredited from the US-based Medical Travel Quality Alliance (MTQUA). Such appreciation only motivates us to provide benchmark care and services to our patients, both domestic and international,” said Vijayarathna, zonal director, Fortis Hospital, Bannerghatta Road, Bengaluru.

Fortis Hospital Bannerghatta was India’s first hospital to achieve medical tourism accreditation from the US-based Medical Travel Quality Alliance (MTQUA) in 2014. Medical tourism certification from MTQUA is the only global certification program for hospitals, clinics, agencies, recovery resorts and related services and providers.

Fortis Healthcare Limited operates its healthcare delivery services in India, Dubai, Mauritius and Sri Lanka with 54 healthcare facilities including projects under development. The healthcare majors accounts for approximately 10,000 potential beds and 314 diagnostic centres.

Rishikesh,Uttarakhand to promote itself as Medical tourism destination

To give a fillip to medical tourism on the lines of Kerala, Uttarakhandhealth department will develop Rishikesh into an Aarogya Nagar of Uttarakhand. This was disclosed by the officials of health department on the occasion of internationa yoga day after CM’s announcement.
As per the claims of health department’s top official, it is a very preliminary thought which was discussed with the health minister this week only however, they are determined to implement the project.
Citing it necessity one of the officials from health department said that there is vast scope in medical tourism hence implicating stringency is a must.
To start with the initiative, Rishikesh has been earmarked by the department as it is home to several thousand tourists thronging in from different parts of world.
Seeing the vast economic possibility and sensitivity of the sector, health minister of Uttarakhand, Surendera Singh Negi, said, “The prime objective of bringing medical tourism into an organized sector is this that tourists coming to our states are not cheated in any from as it leaves massive negative impacts on the minds of tourists and we cannot afford negative feedback from tourists. We don’t want the image of Uttarakahnd to decline, especially among tourists because they make for a strong part of our economy.”
Interestingly now starting from poor services to undue high payment for any kind of body or mind rejuvenation services, everything will now be under scanner of health department.
The minister added, “We will ensure that all the service providers from giving any kind of health (soul and body) are registered with health department and the fee structure for all the services remain similar all over the city. This to remove disparity and to ensure that tourists are given healthy and recognized services under the aegis of state government

Unfortunately, Rishikesh is home to several thousand spa, panchkarma and ayurvedic treatment centres however, not even health department is very sure of total number of such active centres running in the city.
Meanwhile, highlighting more about the initiative which might sound negative to the businessmen of Rishikesh, Dr. Neeraj Kherwal, said, “Now all these businessmen and doctors will have to work taking Clinical Establishment Act, 2010 into consideration, which means huge stringency. The entire project will run in very close coordination of all the departments. Also, we will certainly take opinion of locals of Rishikesh before executing any plan for the city as they are the prime stakeholders while we convert Rishikesh into first Aarogya Centre of Uttarakhand ”
Similarly, Tungnath, Lohaghat and Jageshwar in Uttarkhand will see Aarogya Centres on the lines of Rishikesh.

Apollo Hospitals to develop hospital in China

Apollo Hospitals Group and Hainan Ecological Smart City Group (HESCG), a Chinese industrial park development and operations company, signed an MoU to jointly develop a highly integrated modern health care service facility and systems in China’s Hainan province. The MoU was signed by Apollo Hospitals Joint MD Sangita Reddy and HESCG MD Yang Chunzhi in the presence of Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao, Hainan Governor Liu Cigui and Apollo Hospitals Group Founder Chairman Prathap C. Reddy

The hospital will come up in upcoming Smart City on the island of Hainan. It will also have medical, nursing and paramedical colleges and would cater to not only the people of the province but also attract medical tourists from mainland China and other nations. The collaboration with Apollo Hospitals would begin with the development of a state-of-the art hospital and the colleges and will lead to the development of advanced health-care IT systems and telemedicine solutions.

HESCG will provide land, all the investments for the construction, commissioning and equipping the hospital besides all operative expenses, while Apollo Hospitals Group would provide its services for technical consulting, planning and commissioning of the hospital.

The struggle of medical sector in Nigeria

The Doctors in Nigeria is having a tough time to convince people not to go to other countries for Medical treatment.They are trying to improvise the services available there and doing all sort of promotional activities.But recently the President of country preferred to go to London for treatment.Doctors there are not happy with his move and believe that this will create a bad impression about the Nigerian healthcare situation.Every year Nigerians spend millions of dollars abroad for treatment.The doctors wants the nigerians to get the inhouse treatment and not to depend outside countries for the same.Only time will tell how things would shape up for their healthcare sector.

Medical Tourism conference in India

After two annual medical tourism conferences, Society of Critical Care Emergency Medicine (SCCEM) will be organising the third edition of International India Medical Tourism Congress(IIMTC 2016) in Hyderabad, Telengana on from September 3-4, 2016. Several domestic as well as international participants from the medical tourism industry have confirmed their presence for the event. The third edition of International India Medical Tourism Congress (IIMTC 2016) is expected to witness representation from CIS countries, the Middle East, North African nations, and more.

According to SCCEM, India has all the potential to lead the global medical tourism industry, due to the presence of advanced medical technologies as well as for offering affordable medical care. SCCEM has been involved in establishing India as a premier medical tourism destination in the world, with various efforts to bring different stakeholders at a common platform to discuss impending issues and removing the bottlenecks.

According to a research conducted by Transparency Market Research, the global medical tourism industry is expected to be US$ 32.5 billion by 2019. The study claims that India is at the top of the global medical tourism market, closely followed by Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia. The report also reveals names of the emerging medical tourism destinations, such as Mexico, Brazil, Taiwan and Turkey. However, the entry of new destinations into the medical tourism sector puts an emphasis on addressing issues that may hamper the growth of the Indian medical tourism industry. This is where the IIMTC 2016 is said to play a crucial role by providing a knowledge sharing platform to healthcare professionals, policy makers, accreditation bodies, technology and tourism companies among others.

India is relying upon on the medical tourism sector to increase its foreign currency deposit. PM Modi has already extended his best wishes to the success of IIMTC 2016, and country’s Health Department, Ayush Department, Tourism Department etc are seeing the event as an opportunity to build the ‘Brand India’ proposition among foreign nationals choosing the country for an effective and cost-effective healthcare or treatment.

H N Garg, president, SCCEM, stated, “Several representatives from the leading hospitals, healthcare centres from India will be present at the two-day conference to shape the future of the Indian medical tourism industry.”

Today India is one of the leading destinations for international patients to get quality treatments in the areas of bone marrow transplants, cardiac bypass surgeries, heart surgeries, spine surgeries and dental treatments. At IIMTC 2016, Indian healthcare providers will also showcase their medical technologies and capabilities in other areas as well to draw more international patients.

Malaysia promoting itself to get medical tourists from Myanmar

This weekend, the Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council, an organisation set up by the Malaysian Ministry of Health to promote Malaysia as – in the words of its website – “a unique destination for world-class healthcare services”, launched a year-long partnership with a local tourism agency. The council also held its first Myanmar Sales Mission & Exhibition in Myanmar Plaza on June 17 and 18.

Though the number of Myanmar patients travelling to Malaysia has increased since the country started offering services, the total still lags far behind those travelling to Thailand and Singapore.

Malaysia has a disadvantage over the other two ASEAN members, which have signed visa exemption MoUs with Myanmar’s government. Thailand’s visa exemption agreement has already been implemented while Myanmar citizens will be able to travel freely to Singapore from December. Malaysia is the only ASEAN country that has not signed a visa exemption agreement with Myanmar.

Mohd Haniff Abd Rahman, Malaysian ambassador to Myanmar, said his government is still reviewing visa requirements for Myanmar citizens and possibilities for the future.

Numbers of Myanmar medical tourists to Malaysia have risen slowly, according to Vincent Gool, the regional director for market development of the travel council.

“According to MHTC figures, in 2015, 12,000 Myanmar patients came to Malaysia compared to 10,000 in 2014,” he said.

“The biggest challenge we have is awareness. People do not know about Malaysia. I think everybody knows about [medical tourism in] Thailand, Singapore and India, but not Malaysia since we started late. In 2012 we were where Thailand and Singapore were 20 years ago.”

Myanmar’s healthcare system was long-neglected under the former military government and now faces a number of challenges for delivering effective and affordable care. Patients say central hospitals lack basic supplies, medication and equipment and many forms of treatment continue to be cost-prohibitive.

Dr Mei Mei Ko, who is chief editor of the medical magazine Ziwaka, said medical tourism has increasingly attracted patients over the last 15 years.

She said patients in Myanmar can expect to spend between K5000 and K7000 for just a few minutes with a specialist, but are willing to spend significantly more, in some cases upward of K5 million (US$5128), for treatment in foreign hospitals.

“We need to change our healthcare system to match [the needs of] our patients,” she said.

Ayurveda helps Kerala emerge as a key medical tourism hub

The centuries-old tradition of ancient Indian Ayurveda is fast turning Kerala into a global medical tourism destination, attracting holidayers as well as International celebrities to the state.

When British super model Naomi Campbell landed in Kerala last year for an Ayurvedic massage session at Leela Kovalam Beach hotel, she was only affirming the efficacy of the Indian healing system with God’s Own Country as its torch-bearer in modern times.

According to sources in Kerala Tourism department, those who visited the state in recent times included Italian film director Bernardo Bertolucci, known for his global hits like Last Tango in Paris and The Last Emperor, who came to the state for Ayurvedic treatment for a nagging ailment.

German TV and film actress Ingeborg Schoener (77) has been trooping into the state for the last eight years for Ayurveda treatment.

Completely cured of her painful knee problem, she thanked the tourism officials that she had stopped allopathic treatments.

“Thanks to Ayurveda, I feel fantastic. I make ghee at home and have stopped using oil to fry food. I do my yoga, drink a glass of hot water first thing in the morning and buy one-year worth of Ayurvedic medicines,” a spokesperson for the department quoted her as saying.

Pop star Madonna, Hollywood actress Demi Moore and Cherie Blair, wife of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, have also used Ayurveda for their well-being.

Back home, former Prime Minister A B Vajpayee is an ardent believer in the healing properties of Ayurveda’s Panchakarma therapy.

After his visit to Kumarakom lake-side resort, from where he famously “mused” on the state of the affair of the nation in 2000, Vajpayee told people around him that he felt very relaxed after Ayurveda therapy in Kerala.

The list of celebrities from the showbiz world, sports and politics, fascinated by Ayurveda’s power to rejuvenate, detoxify and cure, is a never ending one.

Former President Pratibha Patil, spouses of Vice-President Mohammad Hamid Ansari, Kerala Governor Nikhil Kumar, German soccer legend Gerd Mueller’s parents, Union Ministers Shashi Tharoor and A K Antony, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and Tata Motors MD Karl Slym have all experienced the curative and wellness power of Ayurveda.

“Ayurveda, practised in Kerala in its traditional and authentic form, has been a major attraction for tourists. We are now planning to leverage its healing and curative aspects, along with its wellness system, to woo tourists during the monsoon season”, Kerala Tourism Secretary Suman Billa told PTI.

“It can help Kerala become a 365-day destination and ensure repeat visits by overcoming the element of seasonality,” Billa said.

Binod Sydney, Chief Physician at Travancore Heritage, said the Malayalam month of “Karkitakam” (roughly July during the monsoon season) is important because the body absorbs more medical effects of Ayurvedic treatment.

“Symptoms of a large number of diseases, like arthritis, nervous system disorders, Parkinson’s, asthma and skin ailment, flare up during monsoon but the treatment is also the most effective during this period as the atmosphere becomes dust-free and cool,” he elaborates.