In a bid to promote India as a global destination for traditional medical treatments, the Ministry of Home Affairs has announced the introduction of the Ayush (AY) visa.
This new visa category is specifically designed to facilitate travel for foreign nationals seeking treatment under Ayush systems and traditional systems of medicine, including therapeutic care, wellness, and yoga.
India Ayush Visa
The Ministry of Ayush revealed that a new chapter, Chapter 11A – Ayush Visa, has been incorporated into the Visa Manual. This chapter will focus on the treatment under the Indian systems of medicine, and necessary amendments have been made in various other chapters of the Visa Manual, 2019.
Paving the Way for Medical Value Travel
Union Minister of Ayush, Sarbananda Sonowal, expressed the significance of the Ayush (AY) visa category for foreign nationals seeking Ayush and Indian systems of medicine treatments. He emphasized that this step would significantly boost Medical Value Travel in India.
“This initiative aligns with our Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of making Indian traditional medicine a global phenomenon. I also want to compliment Union Home Minister Amit Shah for his efforts in creating this special Ayush Visa category,” Minister Sonowal added.
Inspired by the Prime Minister’s Vision
The introduction of the Ayush Visa category is a realization of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s announcement at the Global Ayush Investment and Innovation Summit (GAIIS) held in Gandhinagar, Gujarat, in April 2022.
During the summit, PM Modi pledged to establish a dedicated visa category for foreign nationals seeking Ayush therapy in India.
Heal in India Initiative
The Ayush Visa category is an integral part of India’s roadmap for the “Heal in India” initiative launched by the government. The primary objective of this initiative is to promote India as a leading medical value travel destination.
The Ministry of Ayush and the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare are collaboratively working on developing a one-stop “Heal in India” portal to showcase India as the world’s medical tourism hub.
India’s Growing Medical Tourism Industry
India’s medical tourism industry has witnessed significant growth in recent years. According to a report by the Global Wellness Institute (GWI) titled “The Global Wellness Economy: Looking beyond COVID,” the global wellness economy is projected to grow at an annual rate of 9.9%.
In line with this, the Ayush-based healthcare and wellness economy in India is expected to reach a remarkable $70 billion by 2025.
Promoting Ayush System Globally
The Ministry of Ayush has been actively working to promote the Ayush system of treatment both within India and across the world.
In a recent development, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between the Ministry of Ayush and the India Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC), Ministry of Tourism.
This partnership aims to collaboratively work towards the promotion of Medical Value Travel in Ayurveda and other traditional systems of medicine.
India’s Ayush Visa introduction is poised to create a seamless pathway for foreign nationals seeking traditional medical treatments in the country. With the government’s vision and collaborative efforts, India is determined to cement its position as a prominent medical tourism destination, captivating travellers from across the globe.
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