Vaidya Rajesh Kotecha, Secretary, Ministry of Ayush, Government of India has said that the process of introducing a new category for Visa, Ayush Visa, for international travellers, is on and is expected to be ready in the next few months’ time. He said that the Ayush Ministry is working closely with the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on the same and the final rollout will happen after receiving the concurrence of the States on the subject.
“We have written to all the states for their concurrence,” he told ETTravelWorld on the sidelines of a curtain raiser event of the forthcoming Sanjeevani – India Heala 2022 expo organised by the Services Export Promotion Council (SEPC) in Delhi.
Prime Minister, Narendra Modi announced the plans of the government to introduce a dedicated visa for Ayush for international travellers who wish to come to India for Ayush treatments at the inaugural session of the Global Ayush Investment & Innovation Summit 2022 held early this year at Gandhinagar, Gujarat.
Talking about converting the advantages into opportunities and emerging as a preferred Medical Value Travel (MVT) destination of the world, Kotecha said that the practitioners of both modern medicine and the Ayush should try to evolve an “integrative approach” by combining both so as to make it a compelling proposition for medical value travellers from across the world. “No other destination in the world has this advantage,” he said.
While there are few models already existing in integrative medicine, Kotecha said that it is important that such models are “scaled up” so that India can become a destination of choice for people looking for holistic healthcare. He said that for patients coming for cancer treatments, the right intervention from Ayurveda and Yoga can reduce the side effects of the treatments.
Kotecha said that there is a misconception that Medical Value Travel under Ayush is only for wellness. Wellness is only a small component of the Ayush. There is a lot of demand for therapeutic procedures under Ayush in India. People coming for spiritual retreats, yoga training, etc., are also growing year on year. Kotecha said that the Ayush Ministry has commissioned a study to validate the real size of Ayush in the overall service exports and the report will be ready in the next couple of months. He said that as per a rough estimate, the contribution of Ayush to overall services exports has grown 6 times over the last seven years.
When asked about the challenges faced by boutique Ayurvedic wellness centres in getting the NABH accreditations, Kotecha said that in order to facilitate that the Ayush Ministry has introduced an “entry-level accreditation” for such small players. This he said will motivate them to upgrade for full accreditation and certification. “Our target for this fiscal is to accredit 1000 entry-level units under NABH. We already have 250 such units accredited under the scheme,” he added.
SEPC has announced the date for their third annual Health & Wellness Expo – Sanjeevani: Heal in India 2022 – between November 3 to 5, at India Expo Centre, Greater Noida.