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Kerala to Promote Medical Tourism With Road Shows Abroad

Kochi: In its efforts to promote Kerala as an ideal destination for medical tourism, the state's tourism department plans to hold// road shows in the US, Britain, Dubai, Muscat, Kuwait, Sri Lanka and the Maldives.

"A policy is required for this because it has to be systematic and we have asked the CII (Confederation of Indian Industries) to give inputs to the draft of the policy and when we announce it shortly we would become the first state in the country to have such a policy," Tourism Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan told reporters here Monday.

He said the aim of the policy for the next five years is to attract about 100,000 tourists who would seek medical treatment in the state's hospitals.

During the last calendar year, around 15,000 tourists visited the state for medical treatment.

"The government has entrusted the ICRA Advisory services to prepare a study report on Kerala's potential in medical tourism, roles and responsibilities of stakeholders besides other factors. The report is expected to be ready soon," the minister said.

"We have also tied up with the National Accreditation Board for hospitals and healthcare service providers for accreditation of hospitals in Kerala," he added.

Talking to IANS, E.M. Najeeb, executive director of the city-based KIMS Hospital - one of the leading players in the field of medical tourism, said that the need of the hour to form a body similar to the Kerala Travel Mart Society, which takes care of the tourism industry.

"The government should form a working group of all players in the field and include representative from hospitals and discuss the proposed policy," said Najeeb, who is also chairman of the Indian Association of Tour Operators.

Source-IANS
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