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Malaysia increases effort to expand local healthcare tourism

The Government, in collaboration with Medical Service Coordination International (M) Sdn Bhd (MSCI), will go…

The Government, in collaboration with Medical Service Coordination International (M) Sdn Bhd (MSCI), will go all out to promote local healthcare services in an effort to expand the healthcare tourism sector beginning next year.

Culture, Arts and Tourism Minister Abdul Kadir Sheikh Fadzir said his Ministry would work closely with MSCI and local private hospitals in lining up strategies to promote the healthcare services overseas.

Abdul Kadir said until September this year more than 74,000 foreign patients had made visits to medical centres and hospitals for treatment and the number was expected to reach 100,000 for the whole year.

He said although the number of foreign patients who sought treatment in Malaysia at the moment could be considered as good, nevertheless there was room for improvement.

The total of 100,000 patients is actually small when compared with the total tourist arrivals in the country (13.3 million), he said after witnessing the signing of a memorandum of agreement between MSCI and five private healthcare entities.

The five are KPJ Healthcare Bhd, Institut Jantung Negara, Pantai Hospitals Sdn Bhd, Gleneagles Intan Medical Centre and Country Heights Medical Tourism.

Abdul Kadir said with the effort made by MSCI, hopefully the number of foreign patients could reach half-a-million within a short period of time.

We will see a quantum leap in the local healthcare tourism beginning next year, he said.

MSCI, a neutral body established eight months ago, will work in promoting healthcare tourism in the country.

Its functions include arranging medical treatment by reputable specialist hospitals all over the country, fixing appointments with doctors, providing official invitations and arranging visa applications for patients and escorts and taking care of all travel arrangements.

MSCI executive chairman Syed Hussein Al Habshee said the company`s main target would be the West Asian countries.

He said MSCI was planning to go on roadshows in West Asia early next year.

The signing ceremony today marked a significant milestone for MSCI and five of its partners. They are dedicated to provide the best healthcare to their would be foreign clients.

Theodore Koumelis
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Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.