India as a Global Health and Wellness Hub

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Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) is celebrated on 9 January every year to strengthen the engagement of the overseas Indian community with the Government, reconnect them with their roots and celebrate their achievements and contributions. PBD is celebrated on January 9 as it was on this day in 1915 that Mahatma Gandhi, the greatest Pravasi, returned to India from South Africa to lead India’s freedom struggle.

In 2015 the Government of India revised the format of PBD and re-energized its engagement with the Indian Diaspora to enable sustained and more substantive engagement. Following the review, the PBD Convention will be held once in two years in a city outside Delhi. In the intervening year, smaller, outcome-based PBD Conferences will be organized in New Delhi on issues of concern to the Indian Diaspora. It was decided that Indian Missions and Consulates will also celebrate PBD every year.

Through the first series of PBD Conferences which commenced in February 2016 the Government is proactively engaging with the Overseas Indians in an issue-based dialogue.

As a run up to PBD 2017, 10 PBD Conferences (panel discussions) have been held in 2016 on issues of importance to the Indian Diaspora. Domain experts from the Diaspora, and stakeholders and policy makers based in India have been invited for day-long deliberations on various topics. Their recommendations have been submitted to the Government of India for consideration. At the 14th PBD Convention in January 2017, each PBD Conference will present their recommendations, and the Action Taken Report to PBD delegates for their suggestions and comments.

The 14th PBD Convention January 2017:

PBD 2017 which will focus on the theme “Redefining engagement with the Indian Diaspora” will

  • Provide a platform for connecting with the Diaspora.
  • Address issues of concern to the Indian Diaspora and seek their insights and suggestions.
  • Deepen engagement with the young Diaspora and reconnect them with their roots.

Background for Plenary Session II (ii)

This Session on “India as a Global Health and Wellness Hub” will deliberate on the importance of holistic healthcare, global healthcare challenge and how Indian diaspora can promote Brand India in healthcare.

Under the PBD 2016 Conference titled “India as a Global Health and Wellness Hub” organised on 26th May 2016 in New Delhi attended by 14 domain experts from the diaspora, stakeholders and policy makers discussed topics ranging from holistic healthcare, certification medical tourism, connectivity and governance.

Chairperson, Gen (Dr.) V.K Singh highlighted Holistic Healthcare and said Yoga and Ayurveda are the cornerstones of in India. He underlined the need for cost effective schools for medicine and invited the panellists to make recommendations.

Some important recommendations made by the participants were:

  • Region-wise healthcare roadshows in different parts of the world
  • Standardisation and labelling of Ayurvedic products
  • Promotion of IVF
  • Nutritional supplement and telemedicine opportunity to be tapped
  • Make holistic healthcare part of medical curriculum
  • Evidence based research for Yoga and Ayurveda
  • Developing the wellness industry
  • Collaborative research projects with global universities
  • Improving healthcare infrastructure
  • Combining allopathy and holistic healthcare
  • Expand institutions imparting yoga and Ayurveda teaching abroad
  • Develop integrated health centres (Ayurveda, Yoga, Homeopathy)
  • Incentive scheme for hospitals to include holistic healthcare
  • Develop IPR strategy for AYUSH
  • Differentiated approach for developed and developing countries
  • Indian diaspora to be roped in to promote AYUSH
  • Increase India’s connectivity for Medical Touris and facilitate e-Visas
  • Explore standardisation. regulation and promotion through Medical Tourism Corporation

The recommendations of the PBD Conference were submitted for consideration and follow up.

The Plenary Session in PBD 2017 would focus on redefining holistic healthcare in context to India and comprehending the role of AYUSH in positioning Yoga, Ayurveda, Homeopathy, etc. as alternative treatments. The session will provide solutions to make India an alternative healthcare destinations. It would also focus on framing specialised campaigns like “Incredible India”; engaging Overseas Indian medical practitioners to share expertise and technology; developing a suitable IPR strategy in the Pharma sector amongst many others. 

Some of the key areas of discussion include the following:

  • Redefining holistic healthcare in context to India
  • Re-strategizing the role of AYUSH in the Diaspora
  • More focus on “Health and Wellness” & “Diet and Nutritional supplements”
  • Making Yoga and Ayurveda cornerstones of India’s holistic healthcare
  • Certification of Yoga trainers abroad
  • IPR & Patent strategy for the healthcare sector
  • Facilitating e-Visas / Visa-on-arrival for medical tourism
  • Leveraging technology to improve India’s holistic healthcare.