Is Manipur on medical tourism map?

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IMPHAL, May 7: In view of the rapid technological advan-cement in healthcare facilities across the globe and the country, healthcare facility providers of the State need to raise the question whether Manipur is on the ‘medical tourism’ map or can the State be a hub of medical tourism , said Chairman and Managing Director of Shija Hospitals and Research Institute (SHRI) Dr Kh Palin
Medical tourism is a concept of travelling to a parti- cular destination to avail the opportunity of world class health care services, offered by the most experienced healthcare professionals with the technologically most advanced medical facilities, in complete privacy and at affordable costs.
In an interaction with The Sangai Express, Dr Kh Palin highlighted the potential Manipur has on developing medical tourism.
A recent CII-McKinsey study on healthcare says medical tourism alone can contribute Rs 5,000 crore- Rs 10,000 crore (Rs 50-100 billion) additional revenue for upmarket tertiary hospitals, and will account for 3-5 per cent of the total healthcare delivery market and only 10 per cent of the opportunity has been tapped in India, he said.
Meanwhile a recent report on medical tourism suggests that in October 2015, India’s medical tourism sector was estimated to be worth US$3 billion. It is projected to grow to $7-8 billion by 2020. According to the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII), the primary reason that attracts medical value travel to India is cost-effectiveness, and treatment from accredited facilities at par with developed countries at much lower cost.
The Medical Tourism Market Report states that in 2015 India was “one of the lowest cost and highest quality of all medical tourism destinations, it offers wide variety of procedures at about one-tenth the cost of similar procedures in the United States.”
Manipur has tremendous potential to develop medical tourism as the State, he said as Manipur is the gateway to Southeast Asia. Besides sharing boundaries with Myanmar the Trans-Asian Highway 1 and 2 provides easy accessibility to the country, Dr Palin added.
The State endowed with rich natural resources like the Loktak Lake, hilly terrain and comfortable weather conditions and number of nursing and paramedical institutions including two medical colleges provide ideal opportunity to make Manipur a medical tourism hub for the entire Northeast region, he said. Moreover India’s ‘Act East Policy’ has provided enough opportunity to attract people from various Southeast Asian countries. The State is home to war tourism destination because of the greatest battle ‘Battle of Imphal’ is located in our State. It also gives an opportunity to attract other foreign tourist.
Further he stated that SHRI has initiated an undertaking to provide best healthcare services to the State and also to South East Asian countries and to provide an opportunity to mark Manipur on the medical tourism map of the world.
“No stones have been left unturned to uphold the herculean task to develop world class standard healthcare facilities and is no child’s play,” Dr Palin added.
He highlighted that SHRI has been working to provide the best medical care to develop in the field of Cardiac care, plastic and Cosmetic surgery, organ transplantation- kidney, liver, lungs, hear, cornea, reproductive IVF and ICSI procedures, Joint replacement, etc. As of today SHRI has worked to be a premium and leading brand in healthcare services in the South East Asia which is well recognized by customers for holistic, personal touch and technological advancement.
Eye and kidney care, trauma care, plastic surgery, Cornea transplantation, Shija Blood Bank (National Accreditation Board for Hospitals & Healthcare Providers-NABH), various medical feat, oxygen plant, National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL) etc are some features which SHRI have accomplished to uphold the task, he added.
He highlighted that every new bed creates employment for 5 personnel directly and about 25 personnel indirectly, he said. There is a huge requirement for health care work force estimated to be 70 to 80 million jobs in the next 10 years, adding 2 to 3 percent per annum to GDP.
India currently has 0.6 beds per 1,000 and the global average – 4.7 beds per 1000. India needs 1.7 million beds to meet 2 beds per 1000 only. There is a shortfall of 1.4 million doctors and 2.8 Nurses million. Further North Eastern India needs 52000 nurses immediately. MCI (Medical Council of India) has recommended the centre to establish 500 medical colleges in 5 years to meet the gap, he added.
Till now Eastern India has the lowest number of medical colleges compare to rest of the country. Manipur needs more beds and medical colleges to increase state exchequer. More than 300 students are going privately outside the state per year for medical studies, Dr Palin said.
In Manipur, a task force constituted by Ministries of Health and Family Welfare and Tourism should assess the opportunities for promoting our state as one of the health destination and formulate policy to promote and control the quality of healthcare of the State. Only quality service will attract more medical value tourists and generate nearly 2 lakh of employment in turbulent Manipur, Dr Palin suggested.

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