KUALA LUMPUR: The government aims to generate RM1.8 billion in hospital earnings through healthcare tourism by the end of this year.
Health Minister Datuk Seri Dzulkefly Ahmad said the targeted generated revenue will be 20% more than last year which was RM1.5 billion.
“The number of healthcare travellers has increased from 643,000 in 2011 to 1.2 million in 2018,“ he said in his speech during the Asia Pacific Healthcare and Medical Tourism Summit 2019 here today.
He added that a boost of tourist arrivals in the industry has contributed between RM3 and RM4 billion to the country’s GDP alone.
“There is a need to ensure the best practices and etiquettes, especially for soft skills to attract more healthcare travellers,“ he said.
“Our healthcare technology should also be constantly improved, so that the patients’ cross-cultural expectations can be met.”
Dzulkefly highlighted fertility treatment as an example of a medical field that is attracting travellers to the country healthcare.
“Malaysia is a fertility hub, with five of the 23 facilities in the country certified by the Australia Reproductive Technology Accreditation Committee,“ he said.
“The collaborative efforts between the National Heart Association and the ministry over time have led the country to develop a reputable history for cardiology treatment.”
The minister added that Malaysia has the right element and offers through the healthcare tourism. The country will be having the Malaysian Year of Healthcare Travel 2020 next year to motivate the industry.
“Malaysia has all the right ingredients and it offers healthcare travellers a seamless journey towards recovery and wellness, promising quality care for peace of mind.
“This initiative is intended to drive Malaysia to the world stage as a reputable global healthcare travel destination, as well as to increase the economic impact contributed by the health and tourism sectors,“ he said.