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India Today

Published Date: Jul 27, 2016

Pol, visa issues hurdle in India, Pak health sector growth

New Delhi, Jul 27 (PTI) A group of medical experts from India and Pakistan today flagged political and visa issues as the main hurdle preventing growth of bilateral trade in health sector, and discussed the possible solutions to the problems.

The experts brainstormed at a conference titled Enhancing Trade in Health Sector between India and Pakistan" to find solutions for the growth of trade between the two countries.

They discussed major issues which were preventing patients from crossing the border and benefit from the neighboring countrys expertise and technology in the sector.

"India is better than Pakistan in many fields, and by joining together we can exchange good things from each other," Hassaan Bashir Ahmad Khan, CEO, Ali Medical Centre Islamabad, said.

"Professional work should not be affected by political (issues). Humanity is the most important thing," Khan added.
Neelam Mohan, Director, Hepatology and Liver Transplantation Medanta said: "In the Kidney transplant sector, Pakistan is doing really good. Pakistan should work towards stopping the brain-drain in the country."
"The exchange in medical sector will be a win-win situation for both the nations," Mohan said.

Raj Raina, GM Apollo Hospital, said that every year more than 130 people, including children, come to India for treatment of transplant-related matters from Pakistan.

But Raina said, "The visa issue is one of the major problems. On an average, a patient has to wait for two months to get a medical visa, whereas an NOC for doctors to visit Pakistan can even take up to a year."
"A patient does not have this much of time. Police verification and air-connectivity is also a major issue before the patients," he added.

The day-long conference was organised by the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER) and Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI). The experts also focused on possible solutions. PTI NKS GJS ABH RG ABH