AMRI Hospital Group, one of the top multi-specialty hospitals in Kolkata, is all set to open its branch in Yangon, Myanmar. India’s recent move to remove $80 visa charge for Myanmar nationals has broadened the horizon of healthcare tourism in the country. In its attempt to tap the emerging opportunity in healthcare sector, AMRI Hospital is among the few healthcare centres that have leveraged the growing opportunities in medical tourism.
Catering to the flourishing medical tourism industry, India has emerged as one of the most sought-after destination for the sector. Its medical system is still highly regarded in Myanmar. However, due to the high peripheral costs and limited connectivity with India, hardly 1 per cent of the 3 lakh medical tourists in Myanmar visited India. With the introduction of twice-a-week Kolkata-Yangon service by Myanmar Airways international (MAI), the cost of round-trip air travel is down to approximately $300.
The country’s decision to remove $80 visa charge for Myanmar nationals is likely to attract a number of patients. According to Ravindra Jain, Managing Director of Yangon-based 4R Consultancy, “Reduction in peripheral charges improves India’s competitiveness substantially as India offers better quality healthcare than Thailand at lesser price.”
He further added, “A cardiac surgery that costs $1,500 in Thailand, is available at half the price in India. With reduction in airfare and removal of visa charges, a significant rise in business volume with India is expected.”
“Indian Hospitals like AMRI Hospital Group have a track record of offering quality super-critical treatments in the areas of cardiology, oncology and kidney transplantation to Myanmarese patients. Meanwhile, Vikram Misri, Indian Ambassador in Myanmar, wants Indian healthcare providers to join hands with airliners and other service providers to offer Myanmarese patients all-inclusive packages”, said Rupak Barua.
As a matter of fact, India has played a major role in expanding the pharmaceutical products market in Myanmar. Indians, especially Bengalis, were a major service class in Myanmar (then Burma) till the country became independent in 1948.
Talking about the facilities, AMRI Hospital Group offers to Bangladeshi patients, Rupak Barua said, “AMRI Hospital Group never considers Bangladeshi patients as foreigners. Instead, we provide them same facilities like natives. We made a separate counter and public relations officer for Bangladeshi patients. They can also get their favorite doctor’s advice from Bangladesh Office located in the capital’s Lalmatia, Block A, House- 6/1, 3rd floor.”
Certainly, setting up of AMRI Hospital’s branch in Yangon will help in addressing the massive opportunity in Myanmar’s health sector.