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Santhigiri Ashram organising secretary Swami Gururethnam Jnana Thapaswi inaugurated the first Indian medical tourism network MediBiz Ayur Home, promoted by MediBiz TV, near Thiruvambadi Beach, Varkala, on Sunday, October 8.

"Kerala has not fully utilised the potential of medical tourism yet. Our state can flourish further in medical tourism sector if we integrate the services of traditional Indian medicine systems and speciality hospitals. It would help to generate job opportunities and to bring more revenue to the state," he opined. 

Leading NRI entrepreneur and chairman of Aries Group Sohan Roy launched MediBiz Ayur Home as part of the efforts to develop Kerala into an international medical tourism destination.

Improve infrastructure

Speaking on the occasion, Sohan said: "Medical tourism should go hand in hand with health tourism. Traditional Indian medicine systems especially Ayurveda and Siddha play a crucial role in medical tourism. Even though Kerala has immense potential in medical tourism sector due to lack of world-class infrastructure facilities, the state is far behind. To augment Kerala's further development the state government should take effective steps to capitalise the benefits of medical tourism."

By 2020, the medical tourism industry of India is expected to touch USD 8 billion, according to him, while Kerala contributes only five percent now, which can be increased to 10 to 12 percent.

Medical tourism is the future of Kerala

Meanwhile, Kerala Tourism Development Corporation (KTDC) chairman M Vijayakumar emphasised that medical tourism will decide the future development of Kerala.

"We can give quality health care packages at affordable rates to tourists. However to reach out to customers proper marketing campaigns across the country and abroad are imperative. In addition to this awareness seminars, camps, road shows should also be conducted to educate people about the benefits of medical tourism," he said.

Novel projects vital

"Tourism is an important factor that contributes to the economic development of Kerala. Our state tops in health tourism sector in the country. In order to implement novel projects like medical tourism in a speedy manner, government and investors should join hands," said Shaji Madhavan, Tourfed Managing Director.

Development of basic infrastructure and hygienic conditions are also equally important, he added.

Varkala MLA V Joy, renowned entrepreneur J Rajmohan Pillai, Chairman of Beta Group and eminent personalities from socio, cultural, political and business also attended the function.

Medibiz Ayur Excellence Awards distributed

The first Medibiz Ayur Excellence Awards, accredited by the World Medical Council, were distributed on the occasion. Medibiz Ayur Excellence Awards is an honour to medical associations, hospitals, resorts, holistic services, medical publications and organic food network for their valuable contributions towards healthcare sector.

Dr PR Krishna Kumar, managing director of Coimbatore-based The Arya Vaidya Pharmacy was bestowed with Lifetime Achievement award – Ayur Vibhushan, for his outstanding services to Ayurveda sector. Dr Krishnan and Mohanan Vaidyar were honoured with Ayur Bhushan award for their contributions to traditional Indian medicine systems.