To promote and advance medical tourism in India, the government has announced setting up of the National Medical and Wellness Tourism Board to render help to those visiting India for health care need. Inaugurating the new (second in series) ‘Atithi Devo Bhava’ Television Commercials (TVCs) and a brochure titled ‘India - The Land of Yoga’ in New Delhi yesterday, Dr Mahesh Sharma, Minister of State for Tourism (Independent Charge), Culture (Independent Charge) and Civil Aviation, said that the Board will help to bring together and showcase on an international platform the various streams of medicine available in India including Ayurveda, Yoga, Naturopathy, Unani and low cost Allopathic treatments. And this will give an organized structure to medical tourism in India with participation of various stakeholders including the private ones. This would also give a boost to alternative treatment such as yoga, ayurveda and unani, he said.

He also said “India boasts of one of world’s best doctors and hospitals providing state-of-the-art medical facilities on 1/8th of the price charged in other nations. For medical tourism, we are targeting Gulf, Africa and nations such as Afghanistan and more to showcase the various streams of medicine available in India. Wellness tourism is also a key segment of India tourism where many private players are doing a remarkable job. We would like to get both the related segments under one head and give the required push as both attracts long-haul tourists to India.

The Minister also informed that the Help line 1363 or 1800-111-363 would be available in 12 foreign languages within a month. Currently, the Help line is available in Hindi and English will be available in 12 foreign languages within a month’s time. He said, this would facilitate the foreign tourists and guide them on their arrival in India.

Moreover, with the new Tourism Policy we also aim to set up a ‘National Tourism Advisory Board’ and a ‘National Tourism Authority’,” he informed.