Indian hospitals promote medical tourism services across Africa

 

The Indian Medical Travel Association (IMTA) partnered with FICCI - India’s leading business federation to promote medical tourism to India from the African Continent. Namaskar Africa was an Indian business expedition to Africa organised by FICCI from 14-16 January 2010 at Lagos in Nigeria. The Indian delegation included top hospitals groups from India – Fortis Hospitals, Apollo Hospitals, and Columbia Asia Hospitals. Doctors from leading Indian Hospitals gave presentations. The symposium was attended by a large number of local doctors as well as healthcare delegates from 15 African countries.

The volume of international patients coming to India for medical treatment from West Africa - particularly Nigeria is growing very fast and more than ten thousand visas were issued by Indian High Commission in Nigeria alone during 2009 to patients who wanted to travel to various Indian hospitals for medical treatment.

According to Pradeep Thukral of IMTA, “Africa is a prime market for promoting medical travel to India and Namaskar Africa provided an excellent opportunity for our members to promote their services and also explore business opportunities for setting up diagnostic and clinical facilities in the African region. This event was an excellent networking opportunity between Indian African healthcare professionals and will help to further boost the flow of international patients referrals from Africa to Indian hospitals.’

IMTA will also attend Medical Tourism Destination 2010, to be held in Kenya during May 10-11, 2010 at Kenyatta International Conference Centre, Nairobi and in Uganda during May 15-16, 2010 at Uma Exhibition Centre, Kampala to showcase the best of Indian healthcare in these East African countries.

The government of Mauritius aims to position the island as one of the leading medical travel destinations in the region, by attracting investors. Mauritius is seeking India's help to boost its medical tourism industry and has invited Indian healthcare majors to invest in the island nation. Indian hospital group Fortis recently acquired a 140 bed /hospital clinic in Mauritius in partnership with a local group. Apollo has the new Apollo Bramwell Hospital of Mauritius. Investment bodies are in talks with a few more hospital chains in India. At least two more including an eye care hospital chain, are set to invest in the country.

The island now gets fewer than 4,000 foreigners a year coming for medical treatment and wants India's help to increase its revenue from this sector. The logic is that Africans reluctant to go to Asia will go to Mauritius and get treated by Indian hospitals. Apollo Bramwell Hospital has been designed to serve both Mauritius and the international community; the target market for international services includes the continent of Africa and the eastern Indian Ocean rim.

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