Tourism being admi —ttedly an open-end industry, it takes in and absorbs a m; concept and any activity which involves human beieng travel from one place to another. Travelling for purpos of health, is one of the many such activities recognized as a Tourism Product and is called Medica Tourism.
At international con —frences, Pakistani delegates – of whom we have iwer and fewer on the scene – are asked whether ci not they have Medical Tourism in their country. Re fact is that Inbound ( Medical Tourism is age-old ii Pakistan; the ancient traders traversing the Silk Recife stopped at places like our Takht Bahi for medical s=i-fvices. Western writers, of course trace it back to th^^i’eighteenth century Europe when its royalty crowd the French Riviera for health reasons.
A recent impetus to- Medical Tourism is that those ‘highly developed’ couiites which were formerly receiving patients from the ir under-developed colonies, are now ‘outsourcing’ t Sieir medical facilities and medical care to countries in tF—; Pacific Asia.
The ECO is rightly aid well engaged with promoting Medical Tourism. I is presently holding a conference on the subject in Kashhed and is hosting a strong delegation from Paki slan. We wish the ECO Secretary General all succe^^sin his multinational endeavor and we have reasons^; D expect our delegation to make a favourable impar itfnr Pakistan’s medical assets.
Our country has som ^of the finest – even celebrated – surgeons, physici^^’s, orthopaedists, dentassets.
Our country has some of the finest – even celebrated – surgeons, physicians, orthopaedists, dentists, psychiatrists and other accomplished practitioners in almost all disciplines of medical science. We also have the finest medical universities and hospitals, some of them dedicated to specific human ailments. And, at one time or another, they all are satisfactorily serving patients coming from abroad. Pakistan also has unique spots in what – in another context – the world tourism industry calls ‘Wilderness Tourism’, for patients’ post operation convalescence in some of the world’s most un-spoilt environments in our North.
What we do not have is Marketing of these assets. Applying these assets and on-ground propensities to professional Marketing would require a system of accreditation to be put in place. Here again we stumble on the unthinking removal of the Concurrent List from our Constitution. Trade bodies like the PATA Pakistan Chapter, with TAAP and PHA, could call a Workshop to thresh out a system for our eminent hospitals, the Pakistan Medical Association and our Tour Operators to work together to promote and sustain Medical Tourism in Pakistan.