Mumbai: The Maharashtra government is planning to launch a website on medical tourism in the state that will serve as a single window by providing necessary information about treatments and costs to foreign patients.

The website is likely to be functional in a month’s time. The officials said that the website will provide a fair idea to foreign patients about the treatment programme, cost and success rate. To ensure transparency and accountability in the medical tourism sector, a meeting was held on Friday between public health minister Deepak Sawant and representatives from private and charitable hospitals, where it was decided that the portal would be the first in a series of measures that will follow to boost the sector.

The officials said Maharashtra witnesses an annual flow of nearly 50,000 patients coming from abroad for a heart, orthopaedic, cancer and other ailments. The move comes after the spat between Egyptian national Shaimaa Selim (32) sister of former world’s heaviest woman Eman Ahmed (36) who died in September in Abu Dhabi. The official said that they are likely to prepare new rules, guidelines for foreign patients and protocols for treatment.

Sawant said the idea was to give a realistic picture of the kind of hospital, facilities, expenditure, duration of treatment, visa and cost. “Often exaggerated expectations can give rise to misunderstandings. The portal will have information about every patient, the nature of ailment, arrival date, etc,” he said. Hospitals, including PD Hinduja, Fortis, Wockhardt, Jaslok, Breach Candy and Global, have already submitted suggestions. “The final Standard of Protocols (SOPs) will be ready soon,” he added.

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