New center to promote health tourism in India

Last updated: Monday, May 20, 2013
Publisher: Syeda Amtul
Saudi Gazette
JEDDAH — India on Sunday launched an information center in Jeddah to provide guidance and assistance to people seeking healthcare in the country.

To be operated by TIARAIAM on the premises of the Consulate General of India, the Healthcare Tourism Information Center (HTIC) will be open to all Saudi residents looking for treatment in India. 

The center will make available informative materials about various treatment facilities, including Ayurvedic, naturopathy and yoga centers spread across India. 

Mohammad Raghib Qureshi, head of chancery at the consulate, formally inaugurated the HTIC.

Speaking on the occasion, Qureshi said, “India has one of the best healthcare facilities in the world and so many patients from all over the Gulf seek treatment in the country. It’s good if they are provided specific information about various hospitals and institutions,” he said, adding that the project is expected to boost the volume of healthcare tourism traffic to the country.

“We want to give more and more facilities as well as information to them. The medical expenditure in India is a fraction of the cost of having medical treatment in the Western countries, and I am sure (with the right information available) more and more people will go to India for treatment,” said Qureshi.  

Around 850,000 tourists visited India in 2011 for treatment, which increased to 1.1 million in 2012. This is a clear indication that India is becoming the most sought-after Asian destination for healthcare tourism. Industry estimates peg the growth of India's healthcare tourism market at almost 25 percent annually. 

Fareed Sardar Khan, managing director of TIARAIAM, said: “India provides value for money and the cost of treatment is lower than many other countries. We will coordinate with the patients in Saudi Arabia and send their medical reports to the best hospitals and other healthcare setups, and source the advice from the best team of doctors free of charge. This cuts down the burden on the already suffering patient.”

Services provided by the HTIC include recommendation of the best doctors, hospitals, and Ayurvedic, naturopathy and yoga centers for different types of diseases, consultation from abroad, post-treatment follow-up, and many more.

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