Health tourism draws more tourists and wins awards

Nazri-AzizKUALA LUMPUR: The health tourism industry has contributed to the increase in tourist arrivals in the country.

Tourism and Culture Minister Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz said medical care here was competitive and good compared with Malaysia’s neighbouring countries.

“Tourists in the health industry mostly want to obtain medical services in this country because they trust our doctors have come from the best universities, such as in Russia, India and China, and they are confident of coming here to seek treatment.”

He said this in reply to a supplementary question from Loke Siew Fook (DAP-Seremban) on how far the health tourism industry had contributed to the country’s economy.

Nazri said Malaysia also offered the best after-care services as it had many beautiful holiday resorts to help in the recuperation process.

“We have also won the world’s top awards in providing the best health tourism services for three years in a row,” he said.

“Therefore, this industry is definitely important in helping the country’s tourism industry.”

Nazri said the ministry welcomed agencies involved in the health tourism industry to participate in tourism expos held across the world.

Malaysia won the International Medical Travel Journal’s Medical Travel Destination of the Year award in 2015 and 2016.

It was also named as the country with the “Best Healthcare in the World” by International Living’s Annual Global Retirement Index for three consecutive years (2015 to 2017).

Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council (MHTC) CEO Sherene Azli said on March 16 that Malaysia’s medical tourism industry grew by almost 25% in 2016, raking in an estimated RM1.15 billion in revenue through medical bills of foreigners seeking treatment in Malaysian private hospitals.

She said the medical tourists mostly come from Indonesia, China, India, Australia, the United Kingdom and the Middle East.

Medical tourism revenue hit RM1 billion in 2016