KOLKATA (TIP):The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) Ltd, East Zone, has got into medical tourism in a big way. The Public Sector Undertaking (PSU) is targeting people from Kolkata, Guwahati and other parts of eastern and northeastern India who need to travel to the south for treatment. It will also help out Bangladeshi patients who travel to India for treatment.
“There are a lot of people from the eastern and northeastern parts of the country who travel to Vellore and other parts of south India for treatment. Many of them are senior citizens who live alone. In some cases, their children live abroad and can’t travel to India at short notice. We take care of all their needs. We have a dedicated cell for such people. Once we know where they want to receive treatment, we get in touch with the hospital through our own channels and fix up appointments with doctors. We then arrange for tickets for the patients and relatives. In case, they wish to travel by air, we arrange for flight tickets as well. If people require escorts during the journey, they are arranged,” said Debashis Chandra, group general manager, IRCTC, East Zone. Once they reach the station or airport at their destination, the patients and their relatives are received and taken to hospitals. After the doctor gives his opinion, the family is shifted to a hotel where IRCTC takes care of all meals and other necessities. After treatment, IRCTC brings them back to their homes with specialized care if necessary.
“We are a government organization and all are activities are above board. Now that we have started helping people in need of medical aid, touts will no longer be able to fleece them. For this activity, we are not paying too much attention to profits. Proper service is crucial as we will be dealing with elderly people and those who are ill. Their demands will be different from the normal tourist. We have a dedicated team to look after their needs,” Chandra said.