With travel restrictions being removed by most countries now that the severity of the pandemic has abated, the prospects for the medical tourism industry have also picked up.
That’s good news for countries like Malaysia, whose healthcare costs and cost of living are relatively low in the region despite the high quality of expertise and healthcare services.
Malaysian Healthcare Travel Council (MHTC) remains steadfast in its aspiration of positioning Malaysia as a top-of-mind destination for healthcare that prioritises patient care and safety.
MHTC CEO Mohd Daud Mohd Ariff said: “To this end, we are dedicated to providing quality healthcare services for all.
“As the world transitions into endemicity, we anticipate the increase of healthcare traveller arrivals in Malaysia. As such, in 2023 and beyond, we will continue to reinforce awareness of MHTC’s world-class quality offerings and enhance the patient experience through the digitalisation of key touchpoints, creation of more strategic partnerships with local, regional and global players, unified branding efforts as well as raising Malaysian global icons for healthcare.
With the cohesive efforts and collaboration from all stakeholders, MHTC aims to reach RM1.7 billion in healthcare travel revenues by 2025, with a significant spillover effect on the rest of the Malaysian economy.
On how MHTC has been driving the medical tourism sector despite the challenges, Mohd Daud said: The global pandemic has put a pause on the industry’s growth and created a ‘new normal’ global market performance that takes into consideration new factors such as travel restrictions and the perception of safety and trust towards healthcare destinations.
“Together with the public and private stakeholders in the Malaysia Healthcare ecosystem, we rose above the challenges and took a swift response in reopening Malaysia for healthcare travel via a medical travel bubble which ensures the safety of both the national and international patients while providing continuity of care for patients.
As a result, Malaysia Healthcare has cultivated a solid ecosystem, further positioning Malaysia as a safe and trusted destination for healthcare travellers.
He said that during the Recovery phase, more emphasis was being placed on the Healthcare Travel Ecosystem as readiness measures for the industry to recover and move into the Rebuild phase. “Learning from the challenges during the pandemic, we are looking into improving practices, services and offerings to provide an improvised experience to healthcare travellers.”
Mohd Daud said Public-Private Partnerships with global, regional, and local industry leaders would continue to be one of MHTC’s key strategies as it pushes the industry to its fullest potential.
MHTC is actively exploring new avenues for Malaysia’s key stakeholders to pursue collaborations with interested global parties and facilitate industry recovery in 2023 and beyond. – The Health