Medical Tourism

Promotions to be strengthened for bringing in more Medical Tourists from GCC countries

The Confederate of Indian Industries (CII) Kerala Chapter is all set to boost up their medical tourism promotions in Gulf countries in coming years. In an initiative to bring up utmost number of tourists to Kerala, many allopathy and ayurveda practitioners came together for a road show and exhibition at Oman in April. They are even planning to conduct such events in UAE, Saudi Arabia and some African countries.

According to Dr S. Sajikumar, Chairman, CII Kerala and chief physician at Dhathri Ayurveda, Oman is the main market for medical tourism among GCC countries. Almost 90% of the total one lakh medical visas issued in Oman for 2017-18 has been to India. The encouraging fact is that 60% of them came to Kerala for medical purpose. “Medical tourists from GCC countries have complaints like joint pains, gastric troubles or dermatological issues unlike western ones who look for wellness therapies majorly,” said Sajikumar.

Doctors and marketing officials from 13 hospitals were part of the delegation that visited Oman in April. They even conducted an outpatient service as part of their visit. “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. There are at least 10-15 patients from Oman visiting the hospital every day,” said Dr Bipin Theruvil, head of Lakeshore Hospital team in the delegation.

For bringing in more tourists to the wellness treatments, evidence based reports are a must requirement. The market is high for depression and related mental disorders. CII is determined to develop sustainable medical tourism by focusing on the trends of GCC countries.