NATMO map marks Kolkata as medical tourism hub
Kolkata: Kolkata has been acknowledged as an abode of medical tourism by National Atlas and Thematic Mapping Organisation (NATMO), which is under the aegis of department of Science and Technology of the Union government.
This is for the first time that NATMO has come up with a Medical Tourism Map, in which Kolkata has figured as a hub for medical tourism in the entire country.
In recent times, the medical facilities in the city have been witnessing a spurt in patients from the South-Eastern part of the country and also neighbouring countries like Nepal, Bhutan and Myanmar. Even patients from Pakistan and countries of the Middle East are coming here for treatment.
Areas like Alipore, New Town-Rajarhat and particularly the entire stretch of Eastern Metropolitan Bypass stretching from Kadapara in Phoolbagan to Hiland Park, including Mukundapur, has a chain of hospitals in the city, which are being flocked by these patients. People have started referring to the Bypass stretch of hospitals as 'Mini Vellore'.
"People of the city still travel in large numbers to South India for healthcare. But our study has revealed that people from other parts of the country and also from the neighbourhood are coming in large numbers to the city for medical facilities. When they come to the city for treatment, they try to take time out to visit the places of interest in the city and its suburbs," NATMO director Dr Tapati Banerjee said.
The private hospitals are even going to the extent of making arrangements to pick up these patients from the airport, when contacted for providing healthcare.
It may be mentioned that nearly 6 percent of the patients undergoing treatment in these hospitals are either from places outside the state or from the neighbouring countries.
It has been learnt that NATMO has released this map related to medical tourism at the International Kolkata Book Fair on Saturday. Priced at Rs 50, the map sold like hot cakes. It mentions the details of the places of interest, accommodation, mode of transport and other facilities. NATMO will now take up study of places like Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad etc. to examine whether these places can figure in their medical tourism map.
NATMO needed to take the nod of the Defence ministry before releasing this map, which it has got recently.