Medical tourism in India is rising and it is essential to be aware of certain medical legal guidelines for ensuring the need and interest of those people who access health care in India. The government of India has developed several frameworks comprising of medical legal guidelines. There is no legal recourse that can be taken in case of any problem, uncertainties and unsatisfactory treatment for patients across the international boundaries. Patients should be aware of medical issues and legal regulations involved as there could be an element of uncertainty or hazard associated with every medical procedure and treatment.
Medical Visa in India in Present Day Scenario
The government of India issues medical visa to every medical tourist and this visa can also be extended for over a year. This extended time of visa enable the patients to visit three times in a year and these patients can also be accompanied by a relative or friend at the time of medical tour to India.
The initial period for such a visa may be upto a period of one year or the period of treatment whichever less, which can be extended for a further period upto one year be the State Government/ FRROs on the production of medical certificate/ advice from the reputed/ recognized/ specialized hospitals in the country. Any further extension will be granted by the Ministry of Home Affairs only on the recommendations of the State Government/ FRROs supported by appropriate Medical documents. Such visa will be valid for maximum three entries during one year. State Government/ FRROs may permit one additional entry in emergent situation if required.
Mentioned below are the conditions and procedures to apply for an Indian Medical Visa.
A medical category visa may be issued with the following conditions:
A. The Indian Missions/Posts abroad may scrutinize the medical documents very carefully and satisfy themselves about the bonafide purpose for which medical treatment visa is being requested.
B. Mission may satisfy that the applicant has sought preliminary medical advice from his country of origin/country of residence and he has been advised to go for specialized medical treatment. In case the foreign national desires to go for treatment under the Indian system of Medicines, his case may also be considered.
C. This type of visa should be granted for seeking medical attendance only in reputed / recognized specialized hospitals/ treatment centers in the country. Although non exhaustive, following illustrative list of ailments would be of primary consideration; serious ailments like neuro-surgery; ophthalmic disorders; heart related problems; reneal disorders; organ transplantations; plastic surgery; joint replacement etc.. The basic idea would be that the mission may satisfy about the need of the foreign national to come to India for medical treatment/ health enhancements.
Here are few medical guidelines to be followed by every traveler for avoiding any kind of uncertainties or problems related to any medical procedure or treatment –
• The first step is to ensure that the hospital in India you wish to visit is licensed or not. The hospital should be recognized by a commission, any international healthcare auditing agency or by a Joint Commission International. The other thing to be kept in mind before finalizing hospital is the cost and quality of patient care.
• The next step is to get all possible details about the doctors before selecting them that includes their credentials, achievements and qualification. You can also search about the hospital you wish to visit on the internet.
• It is crucial to know your treatment procedure well in order to have realistic expectations from the surgery. Patients should also be clear about post-operative care, recovery period and physical therapy.
• Make sure to meet your doctor in person before undergoing any procedure. Personal examination such as diagnostic tests of a patient is first performed by the majority of hospitals. This is done as most of the hospitals do not guarantee any kind of medical procedure without performing a personal examination of a patient. It may also be possible your doctor may consider you unfit for the medical treatment and due to this may also suggest a different treatment after examining you thoroughly.
• Make sure to carry all the essential documents along with their copies with you and store the originals in a safe place.
• Carry all the health records and medical reports that are relevant to the medical procedure or surgery such as prescriptions, X-rays, health histories, immunization records, MRI’s and photographs.
• Passport and Visa are required along with debit cards, credit cards and travelers check. Also bring one or two major debit and credit cards, and some local currency.
• Make sure to carry your driver’s license that remains valid till the time you are traveling.