Guj has potential to be gateway for medical tourism in India

Ahmedabad: Gujarat has potential to become the gateway for medical tourism in India with the kind of capacity building being lined up for the state's health care sector, state minister for health and tourism said here today.

Last year 4.50 lakh tourists visited the state for obtaining medical care. With the kind of capacity building lined up for health care sector here in coming days we expect Gujarat to surpass Singapore in medical tourism," State Minister of Health and Tourism Jaynarayan Vyas said at a FICCI organised seminar here.

"The total health care market in India is projected to be at Rs 3,200 billion by 2012, and on conservative estimate even if Gujarat gets ten per cent share in it, it will throw open huge opportunities," he said.

"The state can await for this kind of market opportunity in health care between 2012-2015," Vyas said.

The way medical and paramedical colleges are proposed to come up in the state no doubt Gujarat will emerge as a leading health care tourism destination in coming days.

"Efforts are underway to upgrade facilities and get National Accreditation Board for Hospitals (NABH) certification for the state run hospitals," Vyas said.

"By 2012 the health care industry in India is expected to reach 75 billion USD," FICCI State Council Chairman Pankaj Patel who is also chairman of Zydus Cadila group said.

"The rising standards in healthcare is pushing for better facilities and according to a study conducted by Technocrat Advisors in India, the country will need additional 3.1 million beds by 2018," Patel said.

Gujarat has become a major medical tourism destination in recent times. The state has achieved stupendous industrial growth in past few years and contributed significantly to country's export, he said.

India offers a huge opportunity to healthcare providers, policy makers and service providers alike with 16 per cent of world's population and almost 21 per cent of total global diseases the country's healthcare sector is understated, Patel said.