Growing Malaysia as a destination for Health Tourism

The country’s healthcare and medical sector is expected to attract two million medical tourists in 2020, propped up by the Malaysia Year of Healthcare Travel 2020 (MyHT2020) campaign launched by the Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council (MHTC).
Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Amiruddin Hamzah said the campaign, run in conjunction with the Visit Malaysia 2020 campaign, would be promoting the importance of physical and mental well-being by inviting everyone to seek health and wellness treatment while enjoying Malaysia’s tourism attractions.
“We hope with this campaign, we will gain momentum and secure more travellers. We are expecting two million healthcare travellers, bringing in revenue receipts of RM2 billion and contributing RM8 billion to the gross domestic product (GDP),” he told reporters after launching the MyHT2020 here today.
Amiruddin said the forecast number represented a significant increase from last year’s 1.2 million healthcare travellers, who generated RM1.5 billion revenue receipts and contributed RM6.4 billion to the GDP.
“In terms of revenue, Malaysia healthcare tourism’s compound annual growth rate has been an encouraging 17% from 2015 to 2018,” he said.
Amiruddin said healthcare travel made up some 7.6% of total tourism revenues and was expected to grow strongly going forward.
Amiruddin said MyHT2020 would also be playing the role of a catalyst to turn Malaysia into a high-income earning nation.
“MyHT2020 will be a stepping stone towards creating larger demand for healthcare in Malaysia, hence creating a bigger need for healthcare professionals,” he said. 
“Malaysian healthcare, once known as the ‘Hidden Jewel of Asia’, has been internationally recognised as the Destination of the Year for healthcare travel by UK-based International Medical Travel Journal and the Best Country in the World for Healthcare by US-based International LivIn  
MHTC, an agency under the purview of the Finance Ministry, was established in 2009 to facilitate and grow the country’s healthcare travel industry.
In his 2020 Budget speech to Parliament recently, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said that the government would allocate RM25 million to MHTC to strengthen Malaysia’s position as the preferred destination for health tourism in Asean for oncology, cardiology and fertility treatment.
/Bernama 31-10-2019
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