The Kerala government is considering offering medical visa to boost Ayurveda and tourism in the state.
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Kerala has always been a hot spot for medical tourism, or rather, Ayurvedic tourism to be exact. However, Ayurveda has always been looked upon as a therapy for relaxation and rejuvenation rather than an actual treatment option. However, with the several new initiatives taken by the central government to promote Ayurveda as a mainstream healthcare system, with specialty hospitals and research centers, the government of Kerala is also stepping up its game in boosting Ayurveda as a major tourist attraction of the state. Medical visas for tourists seeking Ayurvedic treatment are the result of this initiative.
Lending full support and pushing for its implementation is the the Confederation for Ayurvedic Renaissance – Keralam Ltd (CARe Keralam), a public limited company supported by the Ayush Ministry, having equity partnership with the Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (Kinfra), which is represented by all the major companies functioning in the State.
According to Dr Sajikumar S, Managing Director of CARe Keralam, “The majority of the foreigners visiting Kerala for treatment have insurance facility. They will be able to avail the insurance facility only if they are issued visa for the purpose. At present, some of the insurance companies in India are reimbursing the treatment expense. If visa is issued for ayurveda treatment, the number of foreigners who prefer Kerala for treatment would increase.”
The Ayurveda medical visa is proposed to be issued by the Emigration Department after finalization of visa categories by the External Affairs Ministry. But the final decision in the matter will be left to the State Government.
Steps have already been taken to standardize ayurvedic medicines in order to bring the services offered to global standards. Medical visas for Ayurvedic treatment will not only boost Ayurveda, but will also promote the state’s tourism and related industries. A 35% increase in turnover for Ayurveda and Ayurvedic products is expected if this is implemented.
We at Itoozhi wholeheartedly welcome this move by the state government.