Speakers at the seventh edition of Kerala Health Tourism (KHT) — an international conference and exhibition on health tourism — have emphasised the need for promoting the State as a preferred destination for health tourism and develop it as the hub for medical tourism.
The two-day summit is organised by the Confederation of Indian industry (CII) in association with the Services Export Promotion Council (SEPC).
Aishath Mohamed Didi, Ambassador, Republic of Maldives, said that a health sector service bondexisted between India and Maldives for almost a century. She recalled her childhood experiences when the ingredients for traditional medicine in Maldives were procured from Kochi. Kerala continues to be a preferred healthcare destination for Maldivians.
Abdulmalk Abdullah Al Eryani, Ambassador, Republic of Yemen, said that India has been a major centre for treatment for Yemenis for the past 40 years.
Paul Thomas, Chairman, CII Kerala, pointed out factors that favoured Kerala for the medical value travel (MVT) sector in the form of well-trained practitioners, English speaking medical staff, infrastructure, use of technology, advanced diagnostic and equipment. Kerala has emerged as a hub of Ayurvedic healing and the mix of modern and alternative treatment systems has is its unique strength.
Harish Pillai, Chief Executive Officer, Aster Hospitals and Clinics, introduced the theme for the Summit– ‘Kerala – an emerging global hotspot for MVT’. Lots of investments are happening in the healthcare sector and as a result, the State has been able to reverse the brain drain, with many doctors coming back to the State. The MVT sector in Kerala is expected to touch $ 1billion in revenue next year.
EM Najeeb, Executive Director, KIMS Healthcare Management Limited, emphasised the need for creating a “Sustainable MVT” by addressing its social and environmental impacts. He also called for concerted efforts from all the stakeholders to make Kerala a global hotspot in MVT. – Business Line