The Indian Ministry of Home Affairs has decided to facilitate the procedures of getting medical treatment in India for foreigners with pre-existing conditions.

Previously, foreign nationals already in India on valid visas could not get medical treatment in the event of falling sick during their stay in India, as a medical visa was mandatory. Doctors and other medical staff usually advised patients to convert their visas into medical visas before admitting them in hospitals/medical centers.

According to a statement of the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Government of India had already revised the procedure in 2018, which exempts foreigners from getting their primary visa converted into a medical visa for obtaining indoor treatment up to 180 days for seeking admission in a hospital due to an unforeseen illness or incident.

However, with the new changes, foreigners are eligible to obtain indoor treatment on their primary visa even for pre-existing diseases.

“Now, the Government of India has further liberalized the Medical Visa regime and permitted foreigners to get the indoor treatment on their primary (original) visa even for pre-existing diseases (except in cases of organ transplant) which the foreigner may have been suffering from even before his/her entry into India. So now, a foreigner suffering from a minor medical condition, which needs only OPD consultation/treatment, may take treatment at any hospital/treatment center on his/her primary visa,” the statement reads.

It also clarifies that the indoor treatment may now be taken on primary (original) visa irrespective of the diseases, or whether it is pre-existing or not.

Yet, the treatment of diseases that require organ transplant will be permitted only on a Medical Visa.

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