Global Health Asia-Pacific March 2022 March 2022 - Page 38

Medical Tourism News

India to promote healthcare travel with standardisation efforts
Similar medical fees should be charged and a simple complaint system implemented

The Indian government plans to increase the number of international patients seeking care in the country by standardising processes and treatment packages . Part of the Heal India campaign , a key goal is to make sure medical costs for foreigners are fair . “ The objective behind standardisation of packages is to ensure patients coming on medical visa for treatment are not overcharged ,” a government official told Hindustan Times , adding that currently each hospital charges different rates for similar procedures and treatments , so standardisation will ensure less variation in cost .

The initiative also aims to set up a certified system to address grievances foreign patients might have regarding their treatment as they have to navigate an unfamiliar system .
In addition , the government plans to launch a parallel campaign called Heal by India that will send experienced medical personnel to countries that need them and to create job opportunities for Indian healthcare professionals .
“ The idea is to provide trained human resource to heal the world based on their requirement . There is huge demand for psychiatrists / psychologists in a country like the USA . Japan needs nurses from us , and two colleges have been identified in the northeast where Japanese language instructors are teaching nurses the language so that they don ’ t face language barrier there ,” added the official .
Thai government to boost Phuket ’ s credentials as health destination
The plan aims to revive a sector that has been heavily hit by the pandemic

Authorities in Thailand have drawn up plans to build the Phuket Integrated Medical Services Centre to attract foreign patients to the island while strengthening medical care for locals .

The Treasury Department will provide a 1.41 billion baht ( US $ 43 million ) budget , with construction slated to start in 2023 and be completed in about four years . “ The centre will be under the supervision of Vachira Phuket Hospital and the Public Health Ministry ,” government spokesperson Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana told The Nation Thailand .
The new facility will provide high-quality long-term care as well as hospice and rehabilitation services for people with chronic health problems .
While Thailand has been a popular medical tourism hub , the sector was hit hard by COVID-19 travel restrictions , including the requirement for a PCR test before entering the country . Though the Health Ministry announced on March 18 that it would drop the requirement effective April 1 , travellers will still have to do a test on arrival , reported CNA .
The local tourism industry believes the strict rules are hampering the sector and is calling for free entry for visitors who are vaccinated against COVID-19 .
36 MARCH 2022 GlobalHealthAsiaPacific . com