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Medical tourism to generate RM1.3b revenue in 2017

Medical tourism to generate RM1.3b revenue in 2017

KUALA LUMPUR: The medical tourism industry in Malaysia is expected to achieve its targeted revenue of RM1.3 billion this year, said Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council (MHTC).

Chief Executive Officer, Sherene Azli, said the industry was experiencing a 30 per cent growth year-on-year.

“Malaysia has the ecosystem and infrastructure to provide quality end-to-end healthcare system and services that are globally competitive,” she told reporters after the launch of ‘ShareMyLove’ campaign here today. The campaign was part of MHTC’s efforts in promoting Malaysian hospitality and its excellent healthcare services, said Sherene.

She said that, on average, medical travellers’ contributions to the economy were double that of the regular tourists.

“On average, a foreign patient would spend about RM1,000 per visit, not including other expenditures while being in the country,” she said. Revenue from medical tourism stood at RM1 billion in the 2016 financial year.

On prospects, MHTC estimated that one million visitors would flock to Malaysia this year, contributing up to RM5 billion to the total gross domestic product. Last year, over 860,000 medical travellers sought treatment in the country.

The number was expected to grow, with more private hospitals able to cater to more foreign patients. Private hospitals nationwide currently have an estimated 15,000 beds. The top five treatments sought by medical travellers were cardiology, oncology, orthopaedics, IVF (In Vitro Fertilisation), dental and cosmetics.

The travellers came from the Asean region, with China and India not far behind. Sherene said Malaysia has been awarded ‘Health and Medical Tourism: Destination of the Year’ for two consecutive years (2015 and 2016) by the International Medical Travel Journal.

MHTC was set up in 2005 under the Ministry of Health to oversee the nation’s dual heritage of hospitality and medical innovation. The organisation promotes Malaysia as a choice of destination for world-class healthcare services.