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Medical Tourism in Goa -Boon or Bane?

Goa is a land of tranquillity and beauty. It is one of the most sought after tourist destinations of India. Indians as well as foreign tourist flock to Goa for the ultimate vacation.

After mining, tourism is the main source of revenue, but the field of tourism itself can be sub-divided. The Goa government is now focusing on medical tourism (or health tourism) to boost footfalls in the overall sector of the state.

“The modern medical institutions set up in Goa regularly promote medical tourism and wellness packages. Even the government-run Goa Medical College, offers specialised treatments that attracts patients from all over the world,” said Director of Tourism Sanjiv Gauns Dessai 

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Dentistry attracts a lot of foreign tourists. A local Goan dentist recently stated that around 20% of his customers are foreign nationals and he has been receiving them for the past 32 years. The foreign customers go on to recommend him to their friends and relatives.

Have you ever wondered if medical tourism  will benefit us Goans or not? Here is a list of the positive and negative aspects of health tourism.

Benefits of Medical tourism

  • Meeting with the international medical standards, means we will have latest technology and high standards of medical treatment within our state. Therefore this will positively impact the living standards and quality of life in Goa.
  • The government is taking steps to address infrastructure issues that hinder the growth in medical tourism, resulting in more job opportunities in the state.
  • No language barriers for ill patients in comparison to travelling to a foreign country to receive treatment. In addition India is known in particular for heart surgery, hip resurfacing and other areas of advanced medicine which is very costly in Europe and America. Thus saving huge cost which would otherwise be spent on travel, accommodation and currency exchange.
  • Foreign currency entering Goa, which means rise in revenue and growth of the economy.

Inconveniences of Medical tourism

  • Tourism in general, causes cultural destruction due to mono-culture (modernity). Traditions in Goa like mat making and pottery are dying because of the rise in modern day culture.
  • Environment destruction takes place in order to develop the necessary infrastructure required for medical tourism.
  • The business can become unstable as international events such as recession and international government body’s along with their decisions can affect this type of tourism.
  • Employment maybe restricted, this is uncertain but in order to have qualified workforce in the medical tourism field recruitment may take place outside Goa.

Just like every other field of business, there are always two sides to a coin. In the name of development, the environment suffers and vice-versa. The government must realise that sustainable development is a very important factor and that the needs of the citizens of Goa must be put first.

After all, tourists will come and go, but we are here to stay. Share your thoughts on the subject in the comment box.

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