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Foreign Investors Keen to Set up Hospitals and Hotels in India
Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Addressing the fourth India Health Summit organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Tourism and Culture Minister, Ambika Soni announced that foreign investors, particularly non resident Indians, are eager to set up hospitals and budget hotels in India to give a boost to the burgeoning medical tourism in the country.

The minister said that foreign investors, mainly NRIs, are very keen in setting up hospitals with at least 500 beds across the country. They have also showed much enthusiasm to set up budget hotels. According to her, three international players have expressed interest in setting up 1,000-bed facilities and medical infrastructural amenities in the national capital region (NCR). Their meetings with the government are scheduled by the end of this year. They are equally eager to set up budget accommodation facilities for patients,' Soni confirmed, further adding that India needs 150,000 hotel rooms by 2010.

'There is $6.5 billion investment in the pipeline for medical tourism. Of the 150,000 hotel rooms, 100,000 budget rooms and 50,000 star accommodation rooms are coming up,', the minister said.

She also acknowledged the shortcomings in the current medical tourism scenario in the country. Ms. Soni said the primary hindrance for foreign investors was the 'unavailability of a single window clearance system'. 'I am in touch with Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss and other cabinet colleagues and working towards a system in which investing in India becomes easier.'

Soni said hospitals in India need to be more apparent and keep their legal counsels ready to face any legal repercussions involving both the patients and doctors. 'Since a lot of overseas patients are coming, it's very natural that all may not be very satisfied with the treatment. She said that systems have to be made more apparent and there should be an appropriate legal structure to deal with any possible occurrences,' the minister said.

The chairman Apollo Hospitals Group, Mr. Prathap Reddy also spoke in the summit and commented that world India’s potential as a medical tourism hub is being globally recognized. He recommended to the government that there was an imperative requirement for increasing the nursing capacity to embark upon crisis like shortage in staff and advocated the need to increase the numbers of nurses from the existing four million to 30 million.
 

 

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