Saturday, January 16, 2010

Health-care tourism is real brother of IT which brought India on Global map as a strong country

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Healthcare tourism is real brother of IT which brought India on Global map as a strong country



Developing Healthcare-Tourism in India can be next challenge like IT. India has all required resources and competitive advantages: 1) Lowest cost. 2) Minimal waiting time. 3) Availability of all procedures 4) Vibrant and varied culture. 4) Availability of well established and international standard tourist facilities and expertise. 5) Availability of international standards medical facilities and expertise. 6) Well established export promotion council, marts and networks for the assistance.

To systematize and promote this industry through cluster approach, Government of India need to constitute a healthcare tourist development authority (HTDA). It must be headed by a renowned successful officer of cabinet secretary rank. Its prominent members should be joint secretary rank officer from the Ministry of Health, Tourism and Commerce, who will be in charge for this in their respective ministries. The secretary’s role of the authority should be with the secretary tourism. All leading medical corporate and groups, hotel associations and export promotion councils are to be made member of the authority. To start the first cluster, task force has found a suitable and central place in the national capital region (NCR) - Greater Noida. Both the Noida and the Greater Noida authority are involved in developing international standard facilities for the national and international businesses. In Greater Noida, an international airport is proposed. It is well connected to Agra and Rajasthan which are the renowned tourist places and well connected through air, rail and road routes. All major medical, hotel and export councils are situated in the NCR and required infrastructure facilities are up to the mark.

We have all international facilities related to tourism, medical and commerce. Export mart is already successfully working in Noida. It is internationally well know because Export mart organizes international trade fairs frequently. We have to associate different export councils to attract foreign visitors for the medical care. It is highly probable that if a visitor is coming for commercial activities and if he finds international treatment at a relatively cheaper rate nearby, he would prefer it. In this indigenous entrepreneurs and councils can play a good role in motivating and convincing them. It will help them also as visitor will get a feel of human touch and it will bring them closure which will ultimately increase their commercial activities too.
The Medical, Health and Family welfare ministry is the central to all ideas. It has to establish a formal system for international standard accreditation. It must crate a formal authority in side the ministry in the leadership of joint secretary who is member of HTDA. This newly created authority has all leading medical groups and hospitals as its members. They already have started such business on their own. They will provide all needed information and facilitate and participate in the clusters. Non Resident Indian
(NRI) can be a large clientele to begin with. Once they will get the satisfactory and cheap treatment of their expectation comparable to US and other developed country, not only will they convince their relatives who are doctors to work in India but also they will act as link for the foreigner friends for their medical treatment in India. It is proven fact as Dr. Reddy got tasted success in this line. The income level of all foreign return doctors will go up as they will find good business in the cluster and their visiting time waste and discomfort will reduce. This will act as catalyst in bringing back the NRI doctors. We have competitive advantage cost wise in almost all procedures as compared to other countries particularly Thailand. Thailand is slightly more costly than us as per the data available. By combining commercial, tourism and medical activities we can increase our competitiveness greatly. If a foreigner is coming for commercial purpose for two days he would like to visit some tourist places nearby and some health related activities. As per data, average visit time is about a week. In a week all three activities can be accommodated very successfully. If it is made possible the medical cost will be too low as compared to other countries. There are so many other such potent places like Greter Noida- Calcutta, Mumbai, and Chennai to name a few.
It will be a cluster managed by tourism ministry. Tourism ministry has overseas marketing offices in many countries e.g. Los Angeles, New York, Canada, Paris, UK, Germany, Australia, China, Singapore, Japan, South Africa, Dubai, Netherlands, Italy, Germany. Through these offices we can launch a marketing campaign highlighting different advantages. We will directly or through NRI associations approach target groups after conducting a study for this. The main role of tourism ministry will be coordination, facilitation in cluster development and marketing.

A central high level high authority - healthcare tourism development authority (HTDA) is to be constituted to control, monitor, and take care of day-to-day business. It will have experienced members both pubic and private and related to all three ministries. The Greater Noida is the most suitable place in all respect to start with. After the development of this first cluster we will develop at other place like Calcutta. Chennai, Mumbai taking the advantage of experience of this place. A similar authority will to be formed at state level to find suitable places for the clusters. Mind-set at state level will start changing with the formation of such authority and it will greatly help to HTDA. The HTDA will provide the required directions and guidance to state authorities and it will work in close coordination with them. At state level environment building is the first priority. This will be achieved by forming sate level authority. We have to develop suitable and special staff required for this. We have to ensure the visitors don’t feel that they are in hospital rather they feel that they are with and in their family to spend their holidays. We will not treat them a patient but rather our esteem and highly valuable guests. With this mind-set we will surely ensure success. The Greater Noida authority has all expertise and famous for to develop the basic facilities as per the need of all three ministries and others of international level. Now India is in limelight worldwide because of its impressive growth. This is a favorable situation for the market development. With this cluster all three ministries will benefit so they have their own interest. To have a strong and required coordination we will create authorities at central and state level. It will be a private cluster facilitated by GoI and state governments. It will be another successful PPP with a major role by the private actors.