A wellness center is an establishment where healing options are available for both the mind and body. They offer conventional as well as alternative therapies. The most popular alternative therapies are naturopathy, skin care, Ayurvedic massage, spa, gym, fitness center, magneto therapy, colour therapy, acupuncture and other holistic modalities. There is a growing trend for these in India. The National Accreditation Board for Hospitals and healthcare providers (NABH) has set up guidelines to be followed to open and continue operating a wellness center1. This is of vital importance as diseases like Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C can spread in these centers.

Wellness centers have now become an integral part of urban society due to integrated healthcare solutions they provide, and are a vital aspect of medical tourism. Let’s consider the things that go into making of a wellness center.

1. Location

The location is the most important factor when looking to setup a healthcare center. A wellness center should be set up in a place where there is ease of access via transport, area is good and there is no other wellness center in the vicinity. Considering that the wellness center is majorly in demand in metro cities, finding a good location at an affordable price is a task. It should be in a residential area, with less pollution, noise and with 24 hour water and electricity supply.

2. Licences and Insurance

The wellness center should be registered with the state and local governing bodies. Several licences like the fire licence, health licence etc are required to start a wellness center. It should be covered by adequate insurance in case of unforeseen accidents.

3. Staff

Employing staff is a basic requirement. Trained staff, receptionist, medical assistants, nurses, cleaners, etc are the working force for implementation of ideas on a large scale.

4. Facilities

The owner should have a clear idea of the facilities that will be provided, whether it is spa, gym, naturopathy, cosmetic parlour, massage, Ayurvedic massage, Unani , herbal medicines etc. A wellness center which is well equipped with latest technologies and equipment will attract a higher profile clientele.

5. Practitioners

Depending upon the facilities provided, specialists from each of the respective fields need to be employed. It is important for these to train the helping staff under them. Also, there has to be good co-ordination and unity among different specialists for harmonious functioning of the center.

6. Drainage and plumbing

Plumbing and drainage have to be well planned. A neat and clean center is necessary to provide good healthcare and remain in business.

7. Electrical equipment

A large number of electrical equipment is required in case the set up has a spa and gym. Buying the latest machines and keeping them in good condition, day after day is vital. Good air conditioners are required to help in creating a cool atmosphere which is vital to serving clients. Electrical engineers have to be employed or kept on standby in case of problems. Licences are needed to be procured from local governing bodies for electricity meter and various electrical equipment.

8. Water supply

A steady supply of water is required especially in cases of spas or Ayurvedic massage therapy. The necessary permissions and water licences need to be obtained from the local governing body.

9. Fire NOC

A No Objection Certificate needs to be procured from the authorities for accreditation that the center complies to fire safety standards.

10. Interiors

A good wellness center is primarily jugged by its cleanliness and ambience. A quiet, well furnished, visually calming and tastefully designed set up makes a lasting impression on the consumers.

11. Finances

A considerable amount of money is required to setup a wellness center depending upon the location, facilities provided, number of specialists and staff employed. Apart from that electricity, water and maintenance bills need to be incurred and accounted for.

Wellness centers which are gaining popularity in the urban cities, are encouraged and supported by the government and tourism ministry alike. By 2015, the wellness centers have a potential of creating 3 million jobs in our country. These centers provide mental and physical relaxation to the stressed youth of our country which makes up about 34% of the total population. The future of these wellness centers seems to be bright for owners as well as consumers.

Contributed by Dr. Rachita Narsaria

1. National Accredition Board for Hospitals and Healthcare Providers. http://www.nabh.co/wc.aspx
2. Riding the growth wave. https://www.pwc.in/en_IN/in/assets/pdfs/publications-2011/wellness-report-15-sept.pdf