Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council chief executive officer Sherene Azli.
PIC BY HAIRUL ANUAR ABD RAHIM
In an effort to market and promote the medical tourism industry in the country, the Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council (MHTC) would be signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Country Garden Pacificview Sdn Bhd (CGPV), the developer of Forest City.
Under the MoU, MHTC would help promote Forest City, its surrounding areas and MHTC’s member hospitals, specifically those within Johor and Melaka, to neighbouring countries.
"We would also share database and resources, where possible, that would create a win-win situation for both parties.
“Both parties would also welcome and support familiarisation visits by international delegates to MHTC’s member hospitals and to Forest City.
“We are pleased to partner with CGPV in our continuous quest to create global awareness on our country’s medical and travel offerings.
“Our country has the right ecosystem and infrastructure in place for an end-to-end healthcare service deliverable," said MHTC chief executive officer Sherene Azli.
She said Malaysia was recently named by the International Medical Travel Journal 2017 as the Health and Medical Tourism: Destination of the Year for the third year in a row, accentuating the nation’s strength in the industry internationally.
According to the council, in 2016, the medical tourism industry grew by 25 per cent, raking in an estimated RM1.12 billion in hospital revenues.
"In 2017, the industry aims to achieve a RM1.3 billion revenue target, which could potentially contribute RM5 billion to the nation’s GDP from other medical travel-related revenues.
“This includes dental, cosmetic and wellness treatments as well as logistics and hospitality services.
“We are confident that this figure is achievable."
MHTC said Malaysia had an advantage over other countries in the medical tourism industry as it had been recognised by International Living United States as the country with the best healthcare in the world.
"With that quality, it gives assurance to foreign patients to come into Malaysia for treatment," she said.
Malaysia also gives quality treatment at a reasonable cost, compared with neighbouring countries such as Singapore.
"The depreciation of ringgit favours healthcare travellers to Malaysia, as prices are lower compared with other competitors in the region."
Other advantages that Malaysia has over other countries include easy access to doctors or specialists, good communication, cultural ease and Malaysia being a global halal hub.
Among the treatments that are favoured by medical tourists in Malaysia, includes general health screening, orthopaedics, cardiology, oncology, In-Vitro Fertilisation (IVF), neurology and dental treatment.