The Rajasthan state government is planning to establish medical value tourism (MVT) as a dedicated sector, according to a report by The Times of India. The initiative is being named "Heal in Rajasthan", inspired by "Heal in India".
Several initiatives are in the works to host foreign tourists seeking medical interventions to improve their health. This news comes ahead of the Rajasthan state assembly elections, slated for the end of the year in early 2024.
Ravi Prakash Mathur, the director of public health, mentioned the formation of a multi-stakeholder MVT committee tasked with drafting a policy and a detailed action plan with budget allocations. The initial meeting regarding MVT took place under the supervision of Shubhra Singh, additional chief secretary of health.
Under the MVT framework, the Rajasthan state government will promote various medical treatments, such as cardiac surgery, organ transplant, and joint replacement, alongside wellness and rejuvenation offerings like cosmetic surgery, stress relief therapies, as well as traditional AYUSH system-based remedies.
To facilitate foreign tourists, an MVT cell will be established at the directorate level to streamline the medical visa policy. Additionally, an MVT promotion strategy will be developed, complemented by webinars, seminars, and conferences.
The health department will collaborate with the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) to engage medical associations, MVT facilitators, and health service providers across different platforms.
This comes after the Right to Health Act was passed in the Rajasthan assembly in March 2023. The Act aimed to reform many components of healthcare in the state, including provisions such as during emergency treatment, decided by the state health authority, patients can receive treatment without having to prepay the requisite fee. Reportedly, seven per cent of the state's budget was allocated to healthcare.
BJP lawmaker Jogeshwar Garg raised objections on issues relating to reimbursement, and the Opposition BJP even staged a walkout to condemn police actions against doctors. However, the Act was passed.