KOCHI: Kochi is fast becoming the medical hub of the state with several hospitals and speciality clinics coming up in and around the city in the last six months and in the next one year. Triggering the boom is the medical tourism sector across the country.
According to industry watchers, the boom which had slowed down during the recession is picking up.
Major hospitals like Baby Memorial hospital, Kerala Institute of Medical Sciences and Malabar Institute of Medical Sciences have plans to set up centres on the outskirts of the city.
Parallel to the plans to set up healthcare systems is the venture to expand into medical and allied educational sectors. SNDP Medical College, MIMS Medical College, Vasan Dental Care, Medical Trust Medical College, Polakulath Mediciti Hospital and Kakkanad Medical Centre Pvt Ltd are on the anvil.
KIMS is planning a Rs 20 crore trauma care unit on NH 49, which is something that the city lacks. Kozhikode-based Baby Memorial has announced a Rs 1,200 crore modern health complex in Kakkanad.
A large number of specialist clinics, including dental and eye and polyclinics, are coming up in different parts of Kochi.
Says Bangalore-based Dr Prashant who plans to move to Kochi and set up a clinic here. “People here are highly health conscious. They are also more aware. So I will be getting some of my friends from all specialities to come as
It was in 2009 that a study by the Confederation of Industries (CII)-McKinsey forecasted that medical tourism will generate US$2.4 billion from 2009-2012 for India by attracting 1.1 million health tourists, up from 1,50,000 in 2002.
“Kochi will get its share of medical tourists because there is no shortage in expertise of doctors.
Malayali nurses are known all over the world. So, NRIs and foreigners will come in large numbers,” said Dr Sachidananda Kammath, president, IMA Kochi.
Though the Indian segment is the silver lining in the $60-billion global medical tourism market, the consultancy firm Deloitte had put up estimates that the country’s business will grow at a robust clip of 27 percent each year. Another fact is that Kochi is well connected with the international airport having stops and take-offs for flights from Europe, the US and the Gulf.
According to the Ministry of Tourism, as against an ordinary vacationer per-capita spend of $3,000 per visitor, the average medical tourist in India puts out more than $7,000 per visit. And some of it is coming to Kerala via Kochi.