Kenya will help in procure land for investors from India keen on developing medical facilities to boost medical tourism, president Uhuru Kenyatta has said.
This, the president said will help reduce the cost of travel and accommodation by Kenyans who visit India mainly for surgeries.
“When it comes to medical tourism, we are very grateful that India has opened up its facilities to our people and over 10,000 Kenyans are coming for medical treatment for various diseases. I believe this number could be much larger if we could partner much more strongly,” Uhuru said yesterday.
The president who is attending the third India-Africa summit said the numbers could increase to 100,000, if the two countries partner.
According to communication from the Presidential Strategic Communication Unit, Uhuru said though Kenyans have been managing medical expenses in India, the cost of travel and accommodation especially for family members remains a challenge.
“We would be willing to work with you to see how we can get you land for development. We can work and partner together on a win-win basis, so that is one area I would like you to seriously consider,” Uhuru told Indian investors.
A return ticket to from Nairobi to Mumbai currently costs an average $506 (Sh51,290). Between30-60 Kenyans travel to India monthly to seek specialised treatment, according health sector data.
Kenya is positioning itself as a medical tourism hub especially in the East and Central Africa. In May this year, Kenya Tourism Board partnered with A&K Global Health to marker the country as a medical tourism destination.
It is estimated that the number of Africans leaving the continent to seek medical services abroad spend an average of between $20,000 to $40,000 (Sh2 million to 4 million) per visit, making this a high revenue earning tourism product.