KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia is on track to achieve medical tourism revenue of RM1.15 billion by the year-end.
Deputy Health Minister Dr Hilmi Yahaya said the success behind the medical tourism boom was due to solid back-up from the government.
“In 2011, 643,000 of overseas visitors had travelled to Malaysia for medical purposes. The number increased to 921,000 in 2016, with the revenue growing by more than 10% per year,” he said while officiating at KPJ Damansara Specialist Hospital’s 20th anniversary celebration.
Support from the private healthcare sector had also helped to boost local medical tourism as they provided affordable and quality treatment for their patients, Hilmi said, adding that medical tourism was part of the 12 National Key Economic Areas (NKEA) which would drive the country towards becoming a high-income nation by 2020.
“These have contributed to Malaysia’s current position as one of the best countries in the world for healthcare and is recognised by International Medical Travel Journal from year 2015 to 2017,” he said.
Hilmi said to date, 74 private hospitals in the country were registered with the Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council (MHTC).
In conjunction with KPJ Damansara’s 20th anniversary, the hospital has also launched a corporate social responsibility programme under #DamansaraCare.
The hospital’s executive director, Aminuddin Dawam said the fundraising campaign would benefit three beneficiaries, namely the Islamic Medical Association Malaysia Response and Relief Team (Imaret), Mercy Malaysia and Malaysia Relief Agency (MRA).
For the CSR effort, various community-oriented programmes will be held such as the social media campaign called #LoveSlapDSH where participants will pledge donations to collect more than RM1 million for each beneficiary.