Kerala to Become Global Health Tourism Hub

Kerala will soon emerge as the perfect health tourism destination in the world; it has everything going for it according to state Chief Secretary Jiji Thomson.

Kerala’s advantage is well-trained practitioners, English-speaking medical staff, and infrastructure in the form of super-specialty hospitals, a mix of modern and alternative treatment systems, affordable cost and low waiting times, said Thomson while inaugurating the fifth edition of ‘Kerala Health Tourism (KHT)’ in Kochi.

India’s medical tourism sector is expected to grow from the current USD 3 billion to USD 7-8 billion by 2020, he pointed out.

”The state government would come up with an integrated strategy for building up the sector,” he said and called upon all the stakeholders – healthcare practitioners, tourism players and the government – to come together “to build the sector of our dreams”.

“Health tourism has evolved from a concept to a much in demand reality whereby foreign nationals are now looking at Kerala to receive medical care and attention. As more and more patients from Europe, North America and other affluent regions with high medical costs and long wait-lists look for effective and affordable options, medical healthcare travel to Kerala will be on the rise,” said Thomson.

The fast-growing Kerala health sector is fully geared to meet that need, he said.

“Kerala also offers a growing number of private centres of excellence where the quality of care is as good as or better than that of big-city hospitals in the US or Europe,” he added.

Kerala on a 5 year mission to become India’s healthcare hub

Earlier, announcing the fifth edition of KHT, Dr Harish Pillai, CEO of Aster Medcity pointed out that a greater number of hospitals in Kerala are getting accredited and receiving recognition, and that there is a growing awareness of the need to develop their quality to meet international standards.

He said that the State is on a five year mission to become India’s healthcare hub.

KHT has brought about greater awareness amongst hospitals to stick to quality standards and get themselves accredited, Dr. Harish added.

Kerala Health Tourism summit, jointly organized by tourism and industries departments and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) is aimed at creating awareness and getting the stakeholders together to promote Kerala as the hub for medical tourism in India by 2020. The fifth edition of KHT was held at Hotel Le Meridien, Kochi.