To promote medical tourism in Gulf countries, the Confederate of Indian Industries (CII) is planning to gear up all the processes in the coming year.
The practitioners of ayurveda and allopathy are joining hands to bring maximum number of tourists to the state. They are planning to conduct a road show and exhibition in Oman in April and will be conducting such forms of events in Saudi Arabia, UAE and a couple of African countries.
Dr.S Sajikumar, chairman, CII Kerla and chief physician at Dhathri Ayurveda said, “Oman is the biggest market for medical tourism among Gulf countries with around 90% of the total of one lakh medical visas stamped in the country for 2017-18 having been to India. Of this, almost 60% of them come to Kerala.”
A team of doctors and marketing officials from 13 hospitals was sent as representatives to Oman. They conducted an outpatient service as a part of the road show and exhibition in Muscat.
Dr Bipin Theruvil, who headed the team from Lakeshore Hospital in the delegation said, “The response was impressive and we had many walk-in patients coming for consultation. We even did a follow-up of the patients who had returned to Oman after the treatments here. The new patients were given advices on treatments and those who required surgery were suggested to either come to Kerala for the same, or arrange for it in their nearby hospitals.”
Every day, around 10-15 patients from Oman visit the hospital.
A sustainable medical tourism aiming at the growing markets of West-Asian countries like Saudi Arabia and UAE shortly and African countries like South Africa and Nigeria soon is what CII plans.
Sajikumar added, “Medical tourists from Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries have complaints like joint pains, gastric troubles or dermatological issues unlike western ones who look for wellness therapies majorly.”
However, it is essential to develop plans for channeling more tourists to the wellness treatments, which included a growing markets for depression and related mental disorders.