We are well aware that Healthcare tourism in India is the next crown jewel that could shape the future of India’s economy and hence we are putting effort in gathering the much-required support. The government also estimates that the growth of health-related services will be more than 5 percent for the next 10 years and that will further attract more such visitors. Hence the Government of Karnataka collaborated with the International Healthcare Tourism Congress (IHTC) 2017, Bengaluru (India) to hold the 3rd – 4th March, 2017 at Vivanta by Taj, Yeshwanthpur.
IHTC – INTERNATIONAL HEALTHCARE TOURISM CONGRESS is a noted knowledge platform of international standard Healthcare and Tourism in India bringing together India’s top executives/ decision makers from the medical, healthcare and tourism industry, innovative solution providers and stalwarts to discuss on acute technological issues and business challenges currently faced in the Healthcare Tourism Sector in the country. It will, therefore, provide maximum inputs of practical knowledge among Medical Tourism Agencies (MTAs), Tourism experts and Medical Marketing heads, coming from Kenya, Namibia, Ivory Coast, Botswana, Canada, UAE, Rwanda, USA, Africa, etc.
The previous edition of IHTC, held on March 18 – 19, 2016 was a huge success where then Hon’ble Minister of Health & Family Welfare, Karnataka Shri UT Khader inaugurated the congress & graced the occasion as the Chief Guest. The congress witnessed an excellent insightful feast with renowned doctors, industry’s top executives and decision makers delivering talks on topics like Embracing Health Innovation – India’s strength on Health tourism, Telemedicine, Oncology, Organ Transplant, Dentistry, etc.
By creating a platform and by bringing in all the stakeholders of the Healthcare Tourism Sector under one roof, Ms. Anitha Niranjan, Managing Director, CIMGlobal has stepped forward to extend her support and encourage the strength of the industry. Unlike other events of the industry, this will be a closed focus group congregation to discuss the capabilities and specialities we have to offer in Bangalore, in India as compared to other countries and to educate the participants on the practices being followed world over.
The conference witnessed a Keynote Address by Prof. Ravi Ramamurti who is a distinguished Professor at North-eastern University and The Founding Director of The Center for Emerging Markets, USA. Dr. Maria Todd of Mercury Healthcare International who has spent the past 34 years working in one role or another in the business of health and wellness tourism will be organising workshops for healthcare ambassadors, consultants, hoteliers, medical tourism facilitators on 2nd March 2017. Dr Maria Todd is a leading global strategic analyst who keeps her finger on the pulse of emerging trends in healthcare business development, management and health and wellness tourism in the USA and abroad.
International Healthcare Tourism Congress has successfully acquired attention and support from both State and Central Government as the topics of the congress are well sorted as per the industry needs. Few of the topic for this congress are as follows like Patient Care & Safety, Telemedicine, Oncology, Organ Transplant, Dentistry, etc. Major corporations such as Bangalore Baptist Hospital, Sakra International, Rainbow Children’s Hospital, STAR Hospitals, etc. have made significant investments in setting up modern hospitals and tourism-related services to cater to the new brand of visitors from abroad and joined hands with IHTC.
The Medical/ Healthcare Tourism Facilitators will be the main link in bringing Healthcare & Tourism industry together. To strengthen this network, representatives of all embassies are also invited to be a part of this congregation.
Hon’ble Minister of State for Health & Family Welfare, Shri Ramesh Kumar, feels that Bengaluru is a leading player is emerging as the destination of choice for Healthcare tourism/ Healthcare industry with a wide range of Health procedures, highest number of JCI hospitals. It is the only city in India which has national Institute in Unani medicine, various Ayurveda centres, amongst all other factors that make Bengaluru a great destination. However, marketing for all this needs a push in the form of such events.
As per Shri Sharan Prakash R. Patil, Hon’ble Minister of State for Medical Education, Bangalore (Karnataka) & India has a Good supply source of medical talent which includes doctors, nurses, pharmacist, lab assistants. There are number of Government super speciality Institutes such as Kidwai Memorial Institute of Oncology, NIMHANS, Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Chest Diseases, Sri Jayadeva Institute of Cardiology, etc.
The Government, Ministry of Tourism and Ministry of Health & Family Welfare have been actively working towards the benefit and welfare of this Industry. Under MHFW, independent agency has been contracted with to assess processes and implementation of SAST schemes, whose scope would be to consider & treat deaths of the beneficiaries that occur during hospitalization or immediate/post-discharge at network hospitals. The department has strongly put into practice surprise visits to hospital to monitor service delivery & also set up a 24/7 call centre to attend to grievances, provide information and follow-up on patient wellbeing, to improve the safety and quality of patient care. These best practices will be shared with the Medical Tourism Facilitators to inspire confidence and credibility.
The Tourism Minister for state, Shri Priyank Kharge has been relentlessly working towards boosting Bangalore as the healthcare destination of choice as the hospitals here receive patients from Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Tanzania, Mauritius, Nepal, Pakistan, Dubai, the Middle East and SAARC countries. There is an increasing trend of patients from North America and European countries as well. The Ministry of Tourism, Government of Karnataka has aptly referred Bangalore as the ‘Garden of Life’ which has the best of tourism options in addition to medical & Ayurveda facilities accompanied by the great culture, amazing weather and cosmopolitan nature of the city. The Principal Secretary Tourism Department Shri Naveen Raj Singh (IAS) confirms that plans to have a separate immigration centre at Bangalore airport, availability of the list/ directory of certified facilities, hospitals & facilitators/ consultants, setting up an information desk at the airport and various such plans are being put into action to give a boost to this industry.
The event offered an opportunity to interact with leaders in Health tourism industry, both from local and global partnerships. This will be a platform for Hospitals, Health Tourism Agents, Insurance Companies, Health Technology Manufactures, Wellness and hospitality Industry and healthcare investors to meet & associate.
Other few advantages for India and Bangalore are as follows,
- Internationally accredited medical facilities widely available using the latest technologies.
- Highly qualiﬁed Physicians/Surgeons and hospital support staﬀ.
- Hospitals with Excellent Infrastructure, Caring nurses and Paramedical staﬀ
- Latest medical devices and World class medical treatment at aﬀordable costs
- Ultramodern pharmaceutical manufacturing and packaging facilities
- Quality medical, paramedical and nursing education and training institutions
- Traditional medical and health practices focus on preventive healthcare (Ayurveda, Homeopathy, Unani, etc.)
- Cosmopolitan outlook of the city and that is strong on hospitality
- City has well development ecosystem of partners including allied service like language translators