Kochi: The sixth edition of Kerala Health Tourism (KHT), a biannual event organised by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) to promote medical tourism in Kerala, will be held on November 17 and 18 at The Raviz Resort and Spa Kadavu, Kozhikode.
The specific theme of this year’s conference is ‘Your Destination for Good Health’. This edition will project what the northern part of the State has to offer to the world in healthcare. The event will be chaired by K E Moidu, MD, Meitra Hospital, along with E M Najeeb, Executive Director, KIMS and Convenor, CII Kerala Healthcare Panel and Fr. Johnson Vazhappilly, Executive Director, Rajagiri Hospital and Co-convenor, CII Kerala Healthcare Panel.
According to the organisers of the event, after five editions of KHT, hospitals in Kerala have reported a 30-40 per cent increase on an average in the arrival of medical tourists. The number of NABH-accredited hospitals in Kerala has also risen to 33. The event also led to the setting up of Kerala Medical Value Travel Society (KMVTS) in association with Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation (KSIDC).
‘Your Destination for Good Health’ is the theme of this year’s KHT which will be held on November 17 and 18 in Kozhikode
KHT aims at creating awareness and bringing the stakeholders together to promote Kerala as a preferred destination for health tourism. “KHT will ensure participation of all stakeholders to share their views and jointly take action for promoting health tourism in Kerala. We are expecting more than 400 delegates for the conference (national and international) and above 1,000 visitors for the exhibition,” said G Krishna Kumar, Chairman, CII Kerala State Council & MD, Rubfila International Ltd.
The event will see participation from eye care and dentistry streams apart from other departments of modern medicine. The International Conference at KHT will have reputed Indian and international speakers from prominent organisations in the healthcare and tourism sectors and the government. “KHT will offer participants an unparalleled opportunity to interact with CEOs from health, travel and hospitality sectors, representatives of leading national and international insurance companies, third party administrators, health travel and tour operators and officials of State Health/Tourism Departments. The event will also witness participation of delegates from Oman and Maldives and state delegations from Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu,” said K E Moidu.
The two-day event will have a session on ‘Health Tourism and Way Forward’ on the opening day. Topics of panel discussions include – ‘Policy Initiatives to Promote Health Tourism’, ‘Medical Value Travel – Mainstreaming Ayurveda & Dental Tourism’ and ‘Challenges in Healthcare Insurance in Medical Tourism’. Plenary session will discuss ‘Infection Control and its Impact on Medical Tourism’ and ‘Need for High Class Infrastructure in Attracting Medical Tourism’. The best practices from neighboring states and countries will also be highlighted. Meitra Hospital and Ananthapuri Hospitals and Research Institute are principal sponsors of the event. Destination Kerala is the magazine partner. DK
“This is a historic opportunity for our State known for its quality healthcare professionals. In the last few years, infrastructure investments in healthcare have been massive, so the gaps are getting filled. A perfect winning strategy for Kerala has started to play out. However, the cut-throat competition we see in the MVT segment should stop. There should be a level playing field and greater collaboration. Public hygiene and cleanliness are also important. If we can take this up and adopt at least the surroundings of the hospital, then that is a starting point.”
– Dr. Rahul Menon, CEO, Aster MIMS
‘‘There should be more engagement from Indian Consulates in the Gulf countries to promote MVT. Currently, the sector is disorganised. Chances of middlemen intervening and exploiting the situation are high. To avoid this, there should be a permanent facility in every Consulate to guide those who are seeking healthcare services in India. I hope KMVTS will focus on benchmarking of hospitals, advice on legal issues and promoting insurance-based care.’’
– Padma Shri Dr. A Marthanda Pillai
Chairman, Ananthapuri Hospitals and Research Institute
‘‘After KHT 2015, there is a noticeable increase in footfall of international patients in Kerala. The procedures for the registration of KMVTS, aimed at promoting Kerala as an MVT destination, are nearing completion. As far as healthcare sector is concerned, I would say the biggest challenge was to strike a balance between quality and affordability. However, it is encouraging that now there is a greater synergy among stakeholders and more hospitals have started talking to each other about how we can stand together and work alongside to attract MVT traffic to Kerala.’’
– Fr. Johnson Vazhappilly
Executive Director, Rajagiri Hospital and Co-convenor, CII Kerala Healthcare Panel
“KMVTS will create a platform for healthcare providers to come together to exhibit their products and services to the rest of the world. This can be done effectively only with the support of the government, which will have to come forward as a facilitator, marketing the State’s healthcare products and services in whichever way they can. In order to increase the quality of healthcare standards, the government should facilitate public-private partnerships which are quite often practiced in Western countries. Such a consolidated effort will definitely revitalize the synergy between the health and tourism industries, transforming the State into a medical tourism hub. KIMS will be in the forefront if the Government moves ahead with such initiatives which, in turn, will be a great boon to the patients seeking medical treatment in the State.”
– E M Najeeb
Executive Director, KIMS and Convenor, CII Kerala Healthcare Panel
“Kerala, with some of the best hospitals in the country, has huge potential for medical tourism. These hospitals are equipped with most-modern technologies to provide the latest treatments. Another advantage of the State is the cheaper treatment cost here compared to several foreign countries. Training our doctors, nurses and support staff to speak foreign languages is also crucial for MVT to succeed in our State. The Kerala Health Tourism event, organised to promote medical tourism, will give a big boost to the State’s prospects in the sector.”
– S K Abdulla, CEO, VPS Lakeshore