India's minister for tourism and culture, Smt Ambika Soni, has highlighted the need for the country to promote itself as the emerging medical value travel destination for overseas patients.
Speaking at the launch of the new Incredible India brochure on Medical Tourism, Smt Soni said that both private and public hospitals needed to combine their efforts in order to promote the country as the medical destination of choice and to assure tourists of the best quality treatment at competitive costs.
According to Smt Soni, India's healthcare sector is now the largest in the service sector, contributing 6.2 per cent to GDP.
In addition to providing quality healthcare for the nation's own patients, India has become the nation of choice for medical tourists, Smt Soni revealed, a fact that was confirmed by Dr Anbumani Ramadoss, the minister for health and family welfare.
Dr Ramadoss said that many surgical procedures are available at one tenth the cost of those in developed countries and, with no waiting period for elective surgery, the healthcare system is attracting patients from around the world.
He added that the country's own systems of medicine, including ayurveda, yoga and rejuvenation therapy, are among the most ancient systems of medical treatment in the world and revealed that health tourism in the form of spas and ayurveda centres has become an integral part of the economy in recent years.