Indian Medical Travel Association launches

 

The Indian Medical Travel Association (IMTA), an association formed recently to promote India's medical tourism industry is aggressively looking at this year promoting this high revenue-generating segment in the international markets of Middle East, Africa and Far East along with long haul markets Europe and USA. The association already has a membership of 40 hospitals, other service providers such as aruyveda, siddha and yoga clinics, wellness centres, and medical tourism agencies. It is targeting a membership of 100 in the coming months. It is also open to travel agents, tour operators and students. Most members are in India, but those who deal with it as a destination are also welcome.

As a new association, IMTA’s immediate agenda is discussing with its members the best practices that can be adopted and bringing about uniformity by charting strategies to position India as a medical tourism destination. The association is a non-profit body and aims to be a unified voice for Indian healthcare (modern medicine as well as traditional Indian medicine) and travel industries.

Pradeep Thukral, executive director, said, “The medical tourism industry has a huge potential with state-of-the-art facilities, availability of doctors, technology, English speaking nation and the hospital capacity to cater to medical tourists. The fact is that prior to choosing a hospital, international patients first decide on the country. So we must join to aggressively promote India as a preferred global healthcare destination." IMTJ asked him about the possible confusion of the use of the initials IMTA, “ We might cooperate with IMTA Singapore or Israel and if tomorrow an IMTA comes up in Iceland or Indonesia. Our objective is India focused only, unlike others.”

The IMTA aims to

  • Empower all the stakeholders in the Indian medical travel industry to work together to make India the leading global healthcare destination.

  • Bring together the best providers in Indian healthcare and travel industries to help create a high quality, ethical and economically sustainable medical travel industry.

  • Promote and provide a forum for communication on a regular basis for exchange of views, development of industry networks, creation and distribution of knowledge, establishment of standards and work on an agenda to make India the leading global healthcare destination.

  • Promote and protect the safety and well-being of patients who choose India for their healthcare needs by creating channels for communication between patients, healthcare providers, overseas insurance and corporate referral groups, consultants and physicians from around the world.

  • Serve as a strong voice of the medical travel industry to Indian and overseas media and raise awareness about the high level of quality healthcare and services available in India.

  • Engage with the various arms of central and state government in India to influence public policy in national interest.

  • Educate members on new technologies, marketing techniques and best practices to help participants to operate more efficiently.

The original "IMTA" (the International Medical Travel Association) declined to comment on the potential for confusion –now we have two IMTA's both using IMTA on their websites and in their communications.  

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