India Needs to leverage Medical Value Travel coupled with Traditional Systems of Medicine
India has emerged as one of the most important medical value travel destination in Asia and the country has an entire ecosystem of doctors, nurses, paramedical staff coupled with our traditional systems of medicine, a senior government official said.
Addressing the inaugural session of the Global Virtual Healthcare and Hygiene Expo 2020, organized by FICCI, Sangeeta Saxena, Director, Department of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Govt of India today said, “There is a need to further leverage our strengths to provide healthcare to not just to our citizens but to the rest of the world as well.”
Highlighting the issues of quality and transparency, Saxena said that a lot of work has been done in this regard. “While cost-wise we are effective, the industry needs to send out a strong message on the quality and transparency of healthcare,” she added.
Commending FICCI on launching the Code of Ethics recently, she said that in matters of life and death, the most important thing is confidence and trust. Saxena also urged the industry to come forward and provide credible data on medical value travel, including the number of patients, region of treatment and treatments availed. “The Department of Commerce is working with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to get some data. It will be useful if the industry can collect and share the data of medical value travellers for making the policy formulation more robust and fact-based,” she noted.
Industry, she said, must also play an active role in facilitating the medical value traveller along with the government. The concept of medical value travel facilitator needs to be upscaled and we also need to create additional capacities in some of the countries.
Saxena further stated that for creating infrastructure under the Champion Services sector scheme, the government is working to set up day-care centres at AYUSH hospitals, launching skilling programs for practitioners and creating an AYUSH online portal to support the industry. “It is envisaged to be a one-stop portal and will further facilitate the medical value traveller to find AYUSH related information and treatments,” she said.
Emphasizing on the scope of telemedicine post-COVID, she stated that during the pandemic, the government rolled out the guidelines for service providers within India. “The next step should be for these guidelines to be recognized by other countries as well so that our medical professionals can provide services to the rest of the world,” added Saxena.
Dr Tanuja Nesari, Director, All India Institute of Ayurveda highlighted the role of Ayurveda in the treatment of COVID-19. She opined that the future of the medicines is in integration. “AYUSH treatment is not only effective in non-communicable diseases but it is equally effective in treating communicative diseases like COVID-19,” she added.
Sangita Reddy, President, FICCI said, “We believe that India has the capability of becoming the major global manufacturer in the healthcare sector. COVID-19 has pushed us to look for possible innovative ways to communicate and connect, to serve and to transform.”
Pradeep Multani, Co-Chair, FICCI AYUSH Committee and Chairman, Multani Pharmaceuticals Ltd said that we have seen an exponential increase in the demand for pharmaceuticals and AYUSH medicines and products. “The AYUSH traditional medicine system of India has proven its effectiveness and efficacy once again by building immunity in people during the pandemic,” he added.