With an aim to launch the two top-of-the-line health initiatives soon, the government’s immediate focus is to push medical tourism in India via its upcoming one-stop tech-heavy portal Heal in India. Through another project, Heal by India, it seeks to encourage Indian healthcare workers to go abroad and serve patients, globally.
Under Heal in India, via an online portal, foreigners will be able to locate the list of all hospitals in the country available to provide their choice of medical treatments.
The dashboard will provide the detailed cost of treatment packages and tourists will also be able to apply for visas from the same platform. Hospitals and visa offices will get in touch with the patients once they receive the request through the online platform.
This removes the extra expenditure incurred by the patients on the charges levied by the middlemen and, also, the government plans to create a strict vigilance mechanism over the hospitals.
“As Covid-19 seems to be waning, the focus is to push medical tourism in India. We have the best hospitals, highly skilled doctors, and affordable treatment. Then what is holding us back from being the world’s best medical tourism destination,” a top government official said to News18.com. “It’s a one-stop shop for all medical tourists planning to come to India. We will start it soon and, if approved, it could be launched by PM Narendra Modi on August 15.”
Heal In India will attempt to position the country as a global hub for medical and wellness tourism and a top destination of choice for quality healthcare services.
According to the official, who requested anonymity, the ministry of health and family welfare decided on the framework of the scheme in a continuous, three-day-long meeting with more than 50 officials including the stakeholders from the ministry of external affairs, aviation ministry, ministry of Ayush, representatives of India’s top hospitals, officials from the tourism companies, and officers from the embassies.
“We discussed the strengths and challenges. The idea was to understand why India is unable to increase its medical tourism. Multiple presentations were given followed by discussions. Ultimately, the actionable points were found out,” the official said. “The entire project is been supervised by health minister Mansukh Mandaviya.”
The government is also working on easing medical visa norms and upgrading the healthcare infrastructure of the top 17 cities known to witness a high inflow of medical tourists in India.
Details on how Heal by India will work
The other project, which the government is planning to launch, is Heal by India — a separate portal through which Indian healthcare workers will be provided an opportunity to move to foreign countries to pursue their professional goals.
The health ministry has recognised 42 allied healthcare services that are eligible to use the portal and apply for jobs abroad.
The healthcare professionals only need to upload their achievements and CVs along with preferred destinations.
For instance, the official quoted above explained that if a physiotherapy professional wants to move to the United States, the government will help him/her by providing a legitimate, national-level platform to upload the curriculum vitae and look for job opportunities in the country of choice.
If the profile is chosen and the job is offered by the institutions in the US, India’s ministry of external affairs, via the portal, will be apprised about all the details of the whereabouts and safety of the Indian national.
“Our healthcare workers are in huge demand by countries across the globe. However, there is no guidance or support from the government in terms of job hunting or on the issues of safety and security in the foreign land,” said the official, while adding that the Heal by India scheme will take care of all these concerns. “The idea is to give talent opportunities and also, ultimately, the remittances will flow into our own country.”
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Originally published at www.news18.com