KARACHI – Pakistan has some of the best globally renowned physicians and surgeons, if their expertise are utilised to promote medical tourism, the country can earn a good amount of foreign exchange.
This was suggested by medical experts at a seminar held by the Asian Hair Research Society in connection with the World Tourism Day. India and Turkey are receiving patients from the world over, especially from Europe, Middle East and even Pakistan, to avail medical treatment, the speakers observed.
There is a need to form a medical tourism council on the pattern of the one formed in Turkey to promote local health experts and hospitals to attract patients, the panel further suggested.
The event was addressed by Dr Aurangzeb Khan, Dr Hanif Saeed, Dr Javed
Arshad, Aleemuddin, Meraj Siddiqui, Mohsin Qureshi and others. The medical experts called for exploring possibilities of medical tourism in Pakistan and bringing all stakeholders to the table to work on the idea.
Speaking on the occasion, Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Dewan University Vice Chancellor Dr Aurangzeb Khan said tourism has become an industry wherein various kinds of tourism are being promoted by countries.
“Australia is leading in the field of education tourism and students. Its varsities are attracting students willing to acquire specialised education in all kinds of fields. Similarly, following into UK, Germany and USA’s footsteps, India and Turkey are also now leading in the field of medical tourism,” Dr Khan added.
A large number of patients now head to India for liver, kidney and even heart transplants, he said, adding that Pakistan too has a huge potential to attract patients from all around the globe.
Renowned Hair Transplant Surgeon Dr Hanif Saeed claimed that Turkey daily receives hundreds of patients seeking hair restoration therapies, but Pakistan’s medical practitioners can carry out these medical procedures more effectively that also on cheaper rates.
Dr Saeed called on the government to promote Pakistani hair transplant surgeons as well as facilities available here. “Pakistani specialists can fetch millions worth of foreign exchange for the country if medical tourism is promoted,” he observed.
Other speakers said a large number of expatriate Pakistanis annually visit the country for dental procedures, eye surgeries, general surgeries, besides other medical procedures, which explains that local health experts are as good as foreign surgeons and experts.
The experts urged authorities to regularize this sector, promote Pakistani doctors and their specialties; this could also prove fruitful in promoting the country’s soft image.