A new chapter in medical tourism

NEW DELHI, AUG. 21. Taking a step forward in promoting medical tourism in the Capital, the Union Minister of State for Tourism, Renuka Chowdhury, opened a new "Sushruta Wing'' at Rockland Hospital in the Qutab Institutional Area here today.

The new wing is aimed at catering to the growing needs of patients coming to India with the purpose of medical tourism. The service, which comes under the hospital's "Destination India'' package, provides to the patients from abroad not just the facility of treatment, but also offers links to tour operators besides other facilities for those accompanying the patient to India.

Calling this the `first step forward towards coalition of the two departments -- health and tourism', Ms. Chowdhury said the various difficulties faced by those taking treatment in the country should be addressed seriously and the "single window'' help-point provided.

"We are hoping that the facilities being offered under the medical arena would be well received and that the country would be able to position itself well in this new area. The country has the expertise and the resources to make available quality medical care at competitive prices and link it with the tourism sector so that we not only cater to the need to the patients but also make sure that they see the country as tourists,'' said Mrs. Chowdhury.

The Rockland Hospital is also offering a rehabilitation option for the medical tourist in the form of fully equipped physiotherapy and fitness centre. Also specialised package for joint replacement, plastic surgery, cancer and laparoscopic surgery are being offered as medical packages.

The hospital, according to the officials, has also taken various initiatives to become the health care destination and claims to be in dialogue with other countries including the United Kingdom besides already having treated patients from Norway, Israel, Russia, Japan, Pakistan, Ghana and Nepal.