Tourists on medical visa more than doubled in last two years, says Mahesh Sharma

New Delhi: The Centre on Wednesday said that the number of tourists arriving in the country on medical visa has more than doubled in the last two years and India’s medical visa policy has been appreciated by foreign governments.

In a written reply to the Rajya Sabha, Minister of State for Tourism Minister Mahesh Sharma said there were no restrictions on medical visa to foreign patients, instead the number of such visas being issued has increased over the years.

“The government’s policy for medical visa has been appreciated by the applicants for medical visa and foreign governments.

The number of medical visas issued to foreign patients has been constantly increasing,” Sharma said.

The number of arrivals in the country on medical visa was 66,254 in 2014, which grew to 1,22,121 in 2015 and 1,77,972 in in 2016. Last week, in a written reply in the Lok Sabha, Minister of State for External Affairs V K Singh said that restrictions for medical visa only existed on those from Pakistan where a recommendation letter from Advisor to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs is required for obtaining a visa. Singh had added that in 2017, 1,05,163 medical visas had been issued.