In view of a massive rise in the number of medical tourists visiting Hyderabad every year, the city is all set to launch a facilitation centre in January 2018. The centre will be launched by the government as part of its new policy to boost medical tourism across the country, which has risen by up to 80 percent in the last five years.
Officials said that as part of the policy, six facilitation centres in Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Delhi and Goa are planned. “The facilitation centre will provide medical tourists accommodation, hospital and doctor details, registration facilitation, translators, travel and other provisions. We are also focusing on promoting homestay facility for medical tourists to bring down their cost of stay,” said a senior official from the health ministry.
There are 11 major hospitals which attract the highest number of medical tourists in the city. While a majority of hospitals provide facilities to foreign patients, the Centre’s centre is viewed as a move to promote Hyderabad for medical tourism. “Hyderabad lags in terms of connectivity. Language is also a major barrier for many patients,” said Mahendar Pala (main picture), group head – marketing, CARE Hospitals. “Having a facilitation centre wherein patients can avail facilities and details about hospitals will help in promoting Hyderabad as a brand for medical tourism,” Pala said.
The Telangana government is also planning to have an integrated medical tourism hub in Hyderabad. The tourism department had held few preliminary meetings with the government as well as corporate hospitals to discuss the possibility of setting up the facility. Sources said that the hub is proposed to be set up in the Sports Tower building in Gachibowli. “It will serve as an onestop centre. Facilities such as medical appointments and post-medical treatment requirements will be available, apart from coordination with hospital staff and translators,” said a tourism department official.