Agencies struggle to gain accreditation

Few medical tourism agents have successfully been accredited by NABH.

The National Accreditation Board for Hospitals & Healthcare Providers (NABH) issued new rules for the accreditation of medical tourism agents in 2016.

By 2018 5 agency firms had been certified and one is up for renewal of the two- year licence. One applicant has withdrawn, 2 failed and must take corrective action before they can be considered, while one is waiting for assessment. With hundreds of individuals and businesses India acting as agents, the rules have failed to make any real impact.

Empanelment of Medical Value Travel for Medical Facilitators (MVTF) accreditation is voluntary and is valid for two years at a time. Empanelment is the provision by an independent body of a certificate that the services being provided by the facilitator meets specific requirements. The objective of NABH is to initiate programmes focusing on patient safety through a process of self and external evaluation in order to test the accountability and reliability of the facilitators. The empanelment criteria are not prescriptive. They only lay down the requirements and it is up to organisation to come out with the systems, processes and modes of measuring performance indicators that can demonstrate compliance to the requirements specified in the empanelment criteria.