Government of India clears the path for e-visas for patients – M Visa or Medical Visa to India is all set to go online. Now patients from nearly 150 countries would be eligible for e-tourist visas; they will will be able to send online applications for medical visas with scanned copies of medical prescriptions from a government-accredited hospital of his country. This paves the way for a turbo booster effect on Medical Tourism initiatives in India.
Government of India is all set to announce e-visas for patients seeking prolonged treatment in recognized healthcare centers and the announcement is likely to be made soon. The process will be simplified weeding out the painful visit and wait for the visa. The applicant’s bio-metric details will be taken on arrival.
NABH certified hospitals is growing in number across India and seeing the immense potential most of the super specialty hospitals have started making a beeline for International JCI certification too. The trend is in and so are the initiatives by the government and private players to benchmark India as a Healthcare Hub of the World in the Medical Tourism Map.
The short term medical visa will be valid for 30 days from the date of arrival, after which the home department of individual states can extend it by up to one year, provided the application is based on a medical certificate backed by documented advice from a specialized and reputed hospital in the country. This can be further extended but this would come under the central purview and can be granted only by the Ministry of Home Affairs.
Currently, patients coming to India for medical treatment have to seek online appointments from Indian missions which take a long time and is stressful. Besides the long wait, the patient is required to be physically present during the embassy interaction. The patient also has to furnish a prior tie-up certificate from the Indian hospital willing to treat him.
The cost of treatment is lower in India, even as the quality of treatment and availability of medical facilities are at par with the US, Europe, Australia and Japan. The visa relaxation follows the tourism ministry’s efforts to bring India at par with competing nations like Thailand, Malaysia, Dubai and Singapore which offer visa on arrival. It is believed that this relaxation comes in the background of recommendation of the National Medical and Wellness Board . Undoubtedly the future of Medical Tourism in India and Wellness in India is BIG with clear indications that Indian Medical Tours will be the largest FOREX income generator in the times to come.