Tap into Health Tourism

Healthcare service providers should tap into the growing health tourism sector in an effort to turn the nation into a regional healthcare hub, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

This, he said, could be achieved by healthcare service providers here entering into cross-border collaborations with their international counterparts.

“I urge healthcare service providers to leave no stone unturned in pursuing this potential.
“Becoming a regional healthcare hub ultimately creates more job opportunities and wealth, which benefits the economy and country as a whole,” he said at the launch of the ParkCity Medical Centre here yesterday, which also saw the unveiling of the Ramsay Sime Darby Healthcare (RSDHC) logo.

Efforts to spur development of the health tourism sector via the National Key Economic Areas (NKEA) and the Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council (MHTC) had shown positive results, said Najib.

“Over the past three years, Malaysia has seen more than 20% growth in health tourism, and generated almost RM600mil in revenue last year,” he said. 

The positive growth, said Najib, was due to MHTC’s role in providing the technological platform for web-based medical and health-related information to a global audience.

“Among the countries fast becoming interested in Malaysia’s medical tourism industry is Japan, which has registered 20% growth,” he said, adding that the Japanese coming here were those under the Malaysia My Second Home programme or via word of mouth from friends and relatives.

The development of health tourism, Najib pointed out, would also help reverse the international brain drain of medical professionals.

Earlier in his speech, Ramsay Health Care Ltd chairman Paul Ramsay said Asean’s collective population of 600 million offered vast opportunities in the healthcare industry. He said the joint venture would see RSDHC tying up three of Sime Darby’s hospitals here with three of Ramsay’s hospitals in Indonesia.
Source: theSTAR 18-09-2013

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