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MINUTES OF THE SECOND MEETING OF THE NATIONAL MEDICAL AND WELLNESS TOURISM BOARD HELD ON 28TH MARCH 2017, NEW DELHI


MINUTES OF THE SECOND MEETING OF THE NATIONAL MEDICAL AND WELLNESS TOURISM BOARD HELD ON 28TH MARCH 2017, NEW DELHI

         The Second meeting of the Board was held on 28th March 2017 under the chairmanship of Hon’ble Minister of State (Independent Charge) of Tourism, Dr Mahesh Sharma in New Delhi. The list of participants is at Annexure.

2.      Welcoming the members of the Board to the meeting, Secretary (Tourism) invited the members of the Board to contribute ideas and make concerted efforts to bring out a policy so that India becomes a hub for Medical Tourism. Secretary (T) mentioned that the reputation of the country and the hospitals and quality of medical services offered are the deciding factors for the medical tourists and the industry must strive to and that systems should be put in place to achieve this goal.

3.      Dr. K. K. Aggarwal and Dr. Vinay Agarwal representing IMA suggested that there should also be a focus on domestic medical tourism and announced IMA recognized centres where patients can undergo treatment at fixed charges including complications, would be set up.

4.      In his address, Hon’ble Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Tourism as Chairman invited proposals from National level institutions to give fixed rates with standard guidelines for all procedures that would be published on a Portal. Chairman mentioned that a comprehensive guideline and roadmap on Medical and Wellness Tourism will be in place in a span of three months and the endeavour would be to unveil it to the nation on 21st June, 2017 which is World Yoga Day. This would address issues pertaining not only with the Ministry of Tourism but also with other Government Ministries as well. The Hon’ble Minister also launched advertising films on Medical Tourism and Yoga produced by the Ministry of Tourism. Intervening in the discussions, the Chairman also announced that detailed consultations would be held to finalise the guidelines for Medical Tourism and members could send in their suggestions.

5.      Presenting a report on the working of the three Sub-Committees formed by the Board and action taken on the recommendations so far, Joint Secretary (Tourism) mentioned that many of the recommendations especially those pertaining to visas and accreditation had been implemented. The Sub-Committee on Marketing and Promotion suggested that a consultant may be appointed to study the medical tourism sector in India and to give policy suggestions to improve the sector.

6.      A Presentation was made by Dr. S. K. Singh, DDG (MH&IH), Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on the proposed Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) on Medical Tourism. The idea of having the SOP was to have real-time data on the  quality of services offered  by  the hospitals. The  SOPs  have  the

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objective of facilitating the travelers/patients, coordinating between the various organizations dealing with medical tourism, quality assurance with recognized accreditation; having a proper regulatory framework with support for Foreign Direct Investment in line with national policies and creating a roadmap for the future. With these overall objectives, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare is developing Standard Operating Procedures for patients from Yellow Fever affected countries, and those from where a PHEIC (Public Health Emergency of International Concern) has been declared and to develop a uniform reporting format for hospitals which cater to international patients in order to develop standardized data flows.

7.      Dr. B. K. Rana, the acting CEO of NABH presented to the Board about the proposed empanelment procedure for Medical Value Travel Facilitators (MVTF). He handed over a copy of the standards and guidebook for the guidelines recently developed by NABH for Panchkarma centres. It was mentioned that the objective is to initiate empanelment scheme focusing on patient safety through process of self and external evaluation in order to test the accountability and reliability of the facilitators while ensuring transparency & accountability in every step followed by the facilitators to promote and improve the standard practice being carried out for providing services to medical tourists. The empanelment procedures were detailed for the members.

8.      Dr. H. R. Nagendra of Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samsthana informed that the Indian Yoga Association has been formed to bring together the different schools and masters of Yoga. He further mentioned that there should be strict quality control within the various Yoga, Ayurveda and Naturopathy hospitals and there is a need for standardization with proper treatment. He cautioned against the hazardous aspects of Yoga and mentioned that many research programmes are being undertaken including the use of Yoga practice for alleviating Diabetes.

9.      Mr. Subhash Goyal representing IATO mentioned that Ministry should change its guidelines for support of recognized organizations for conferences and events in the Medical Tourism sector. He also mentioned that the existing facilities of Ministry of Health and Family Welfare at the airports (quarantine service) may be used as facilitation desks for Medical Tourists with qualified doctors at hand to guide the visitors and the cost of these facilitators can be met from the hospitals who would contribute an amount for this purpose.

10.     FICCI representative informed that they have a very active Medical Tourism committee and that the recommendations of the committee could be shared with the Board and utilized for firming up the guidelines.

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11.     The other members discussed convergence with various organizations in the field of Medical Tourism and the menace of touts at various points of arrival for medical and wellness tourists and the need for effective promotion of the opportunities in India for Medical and Wellness Tourism through international exhibitions.

12.     Representative of Ministry of External Affairs informed that one of the criteria for evaluation of performance of Indian Missions abroad is for the promotion of Yoga and Indian Systems of Medicine and that data for promotions undertaken over the past one year is available with them.

 

         Concluding the session, Joint Secretary (Tourism) thanked the chair and the members for their suggestions and mentioned that the same would be circulated amongst the members. It was also mentioned that work of the sub-committees in the three identified areas would continue and that all the guidelines would be brought together and a framework will be released by the International Day of Yoga on 21st June as suggested by the Chairman.

ANNEXURE

LIST OF PARTICIPANTS IN THE 2ND MEETING OF MEDICAL & WELLNESS TOURISM BOARD HELD ON 28.03.2017 AT 11:00 AM UNDER THE CHAIRMANSHIP OF HON’BLE MINISTER (TOURISM)

  1. Dr. Mahesh Sharma, Hon’ble Minister of State for Tourism & Culture   (Independent Charge)
  2. Smt. Meeankshi Sharma, Addl. DG, Ministry of Tourism
  3. Shri Suman Billa, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Tourism
  4. Shri Gyan Bhushan, Economic Advisor, Ministry of Tourism
  5. Shri Nitin Kumar, Director (Finance), Ministry of Tourism
  6. Smt. Neela Lad, Dy. Director General (NT), Ministry of Tourism
  7. Shri Mohamed Farouk, Asstt. Director General (NT), Ministry of Tourism
  8. Shri Ramkumar Vijayan, Assistant Director (NT), Ministry of Tourism

9.        Swami Padmaprakasha, Santhigiri Ashram, New Delhi

10.    Maj Gen. (Dr.) Munindra Srivastava

11.    Dr. N.V. Kamat, Pr. Advisor, IMA

12.    Shri R.K. Puri, Secretary General, Hotel Association of India (HAI)

13.    Dr. Vinay Aggarwal, IMA

14.    Shri Sunil Kapur, Sr. V.P., Fortis Healthcare

15.    Shri Anirudh Sen, Dy. Director, FICCI

16.    Shri Ishan Pandit, Sr. Asstt. Director, FICCI

17.    Shri Anas Wajid, Max Healthcare

18.    Ms. Vinita Sethi, V.P, Apollo

19.    Dr. S.K. Singh, DDG, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MOHFW)

20.    Dr. Megha, DADG (IH),Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MOHFW)

  1. Shri Amitabh Devendra, Secretary General, FHRAI
  2. Shri Rajesh Parihar, Under Secretary, MEA
  3. Dr. M. Venkaiah, Deputy Civil Surgeon
  4. Dr. Vineet Arora, Manager-IB, Apollo
  5. Shri Subhash Goyal, Chairman STIC, IATO/STIC

26.    Shri Gajender Singh, Photographer-I, Photo Division PIB

27.    Shri Yogesh Srivastava, Director, PHD Chamber

  1. Ms. Aakangshita Dutta, Deputy Director, CII
  2. Shri Sunil Kumar, Under Secretary, MoHFW

30.    Shri Sanjay Kumar, Sr. CMO, PHIH

31.    Dr. Manoj Nesari, Advisor (Ayurveda), Ministry of AYUSH

32.    Dr. Harinder Singh Sidhu, Vice President, Apollo Hospital

33.    Ms. Atika Dhandhia, Director Yoga & Wellness, Art of Living

34.    Dr. B.K. Rana, CEO-I/C, NABH/OCI

35.    Prof. Dr. M. Junaid Siddiqui, Prof. & Dean, Jamia Hamdard

36.    Ms. Swati Thakre, Tourism Head, CII