India is one of the most sought after place in the world as far as the medical tourism is concerned. The reason behind this is very simple, the medical facilities that are available today in India are none less than any foreign country but the basic advantage is its cost effectiveness. For example, the tourist can travel to India for medical treatment and at the same time enjoy a blissful vacation here. The new VISA policy implemented by the Indian government will result into boosting the tourism in the country.
Based on the news published by a national newspaper, in an attempt to attract the foreign tourists in the country, the Indian government has decided to promote the medical tourism and get more business visitors thus resulting into increase the inflow of the foreign currency.
According to the available sources, the Union Cabinet has decided to expand the scope of e-tourist visa for the purpose of short-term medical treatment plans for the foreign tourists. This will boost the business trips and conferences inflow in the country, said the sources. Based on the new developments, now the e-tourist visa will be converted into e-visa and it will allow the holder dual entries for tourism and business purpose and they will be able to avail the third one for medical treatment.
Based on the Cabinet decision approved by the Modi government, the e-visa scheme will be extended to 8 more countries taking the total number of nations that enjoy this facility to 158 from existing 150. E-visa will now have a validity of 60 days and can be applied for by foreign nationals up to four months ahead of the visit.
“The Union Cabinet has given its approval for liberalization, simplification, and rationalization of the existing visa regime in India and incremental changes in the visa policy decided by the ministry of home affairs in consultation with various stakeholders,” said a government release issued after the Cabinet meeting. “The approval will facilitate entry of foreigners for tourism, business, and medical purposes. This is expected to stimulate economic growth, increase earnings from export of services like tourism, medical value travel and travel on account of business and to make ‘Skill India’, ‘Digital India’, ‘Make in India’ and other such flagship initiatives of the government successful,” it added.
The tourists, including the businessmen or people coming specifically for the medical treatment or to attend the conferences, will be covered under the new VISA policy which was debated by the Commerce Ministry following the suggestions from PMO (Prime Minister’s Office) to boost the tourism and trade in India.
According to the sources, the medical tourism is one of the biggest business which estimates to be around 3 billion US Dollars and the new development will take that up to 7-8 billion dollars by 2020, said the sources in PTI. According to the sources, the amount of foreign patients that travel to India for medical treatment is much lesser compared to the other countries. in 2012, 2013 and 2014 the figures stood at 1,71,021, 2,36,898, and 1,84,298 respectively while at the same time the foreign tourists traveling to small countries like Thailand was in a room of millions of people which is far more compared to India.
The sources in the PTI have revealed that the Business and Health visa will be granted within 48 hours after submitting the applications in case of emergency. Citizens from Pakistan will not be covered under the new liberalized visa policy.