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Scientific Essay from the year 2008 in the subject Business economics - Miscellaneous, grade: none, NIL, course: Business management, language: English, abstract: India's growth story as a medical tourism hub is a relatively newer one. With significant cost advantages, availability of quality medical treatment with the most-advanced medical technology coupled with India's well-known tourist destinations and rich cultural heritage,medical tourism does provide a motive sufficient enough to allure those foreign patients who either want to avoid the long waiting list for medical treatment in the West or, in absence of any health insurance coverage, seek lower cost treatment. India's strength in advanced and life saving healthcare such as organ transplants, cardio-vascular surgery,etc, as well as in alternative systems of medicine(i.e. ayurveda, naturopathy,etc) offer significant competitive advantages. Cashing in this opportunity, The National Health Policy 2002 declared that treatment of foreign patients is legally an "export" and deemed "eligible for all fiscal incentives extended to export earnings". Besides, a new category of visa, "Medical Visa" has been introduced by Ministry of Home Affairs, Govt. of India. On the other hand, setting up of Bio-Technology Parks Society of India, grant of SEZ status to them, coming up Medicities, entry of private players in health insurance in India along with Indian hospitals looking for international accreditation glitter further hopes of accelerated medical tourism, a growth engine for foreign exchange earnings. However, the poor infrastructure of the country, shabby streets, pity state of our public hospitals shakens our confidence,despairs for this much hype of medical tourism and calls for serious attention wherein much more efforts are needed. Definitely,public-private partnership is one way ahead which can revamp public hospitals and bring them at par with other private hospitals.Further, there is still no Medical Tourism Policy either formulated by the Central or any of the States Governments. As the medical tourism industry is growing exponentially, government and the private players need to join hands in order to act as a catalyst to build infrastructure for hospitals, create specialty tourist packages to include medical treatment, promote accreditation and standardisation, enable access and tie-ups with insurance companies, provide state of art facilities and improve quality of in-patient care and service to meet the requirements of foreign patients and to attain sustainable competitive advantage.
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