Malaysia’s medical tourism in the pink of health

March 2, 2012

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia – Medical tourism in Malaysia hit record levels in 2011 and is on track to achieve yet another year of healthy numbers in 2012.

Receipts from foreign patients spending on medical treatment in Malaysia 2011 stood at RM509.77 million, while foreign patients count was 578,403.

Chief executive officer of the Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council (MHTC) Dr Mary Wong Lai Lin said the 2011 revenue had grown by 34.5 per cent, while the number of patients had swelled by 47.2% compared to 2010.

These figures were well above the initial projection of RM431 million revenue projected to be spent by 400,000 foreign patients.

Accordingly, an upward revision for the 2012 projection (which was made in the third quarter of 2011) will be made.

MHTC had forecast revenue from medical tourism to reach RM548 million from a total of 600,000 patients. MHTC was established under the Ministry of Health Malaysia as the primary agency to develop and promote the healthcare travel industry and position Malaysia as the healthcare destination of choice in the region.

Medical tourism receipts are separate from tourist receipts, which are tabulated by the Tourism Ministry. A total of 41 hospitals and eight ambulatory care centres (dental, eye, health screening centres) are registered with MHTC.

Wong, who was speaking to Business Times recently, said Penang received the highest share of foreign medical revenue at 49%, followed by hospitals within the Klang Valley at 21% and Malacca, at 10%.

The Indonesian market continued to form the bulk of foreign patients in Malaysia due to its proximity and accessibility.

“We are targeting Japan, China, Middle East and Bangladesh as well as countries within South East Asia such as Cambodia and Myanmar,” she said, when asked about markets with potential.

Foreign patients who come here often seek very specialised treatment such as cardiac, orthopaedic, in vitro fertilisation and oncology, while an increasing number are seeking cosmetics and dental-related treatment.

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Category: General health news

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