By 2020, India has the potential to be the healthcare crisis manager for the world and can earn upto $25 billion from medical tourism, experts say.
Speaking at a health summit organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the Indian Health Care Foundation (IHCF), experts said the government should double the expenditure on healthcare and facilitate public-private partnership to support quality healthcare with related developments.
'India has quality infrastructure and skilled manpower in the health sector. What we need is to develop related fields like roads and proper nursing training and curb malpractices in which the government has a major role to play,' said Naresh Trehan, chairman of IHCF.
Trehan, who is also executive director of the Escorts Heart Institute and Research Centre, said 20 percent of the US population is not getting proper medical facility and there is a long queue in Britain too.
'While the world population is growing old, India has a huge pull of human capital. And it's the right time to develop related infrastructure - from airports to roads, well-educated guides to credible taxi drivers to get more revenue to the country,' he said.
The accreditation and price-banding work is moving in the right direction and India would be a global hub for health tourism in the near future, Trehan said.
Amitabh Kant, joint secretary in the ministry of tourism, expressed his desire to work in the direction. 'High value and low cost should not be our positioning. Quality service is our forte and it should be positioned properly. We are in touch with the health ministry on this front.'
Kant said if things are directed properly, then India has the capacity to earn over $25 billion dollars from health tourism by 2020.
Experts also said that the government should increase the health expenditure from less than one percent of the GDP to at least two percent.
'Once the government increases expenditure, the primary healthcare of the country will get a boost. It should also play the role of facilitator to position the private players in the global arena,' said Harpal Singh, chairman of the summit.
Singh, who is managing director of Fortis Healthcare, said the government should also promote Ayurveda and other forms of traditional Indian medicinal systems in foreign countries.