A million medical tourists for Malaysia in 2017

The medical tourism industry in Malaysia is expected to achieve its targeted revenue of RM1.3 billion in 2017, says the Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council (MHTC).

MHT CEO Sherene Azli, says; “Malaysian medical tourism is experiencing a 30% growth year-on-year. Malaysia has a high quality healthcare system with affordable pricing and healthcare that is highly accessible. On average, medical travellers’ contributions to the economy are double that of the regular tourists. A foreign patient spends RM1,000 per visit.”

Revenue from medical tourism was RM1 billion in 2016 from an estimated 900,000 medical tourists and MHTC expects one million medical tourists in 2017 with revenue of RM1.3 billion. MHTC figures are actually for international patients-which includes students, expatriates, holidaymakers and others, so are not just for medical tourists.

The top six treatments sought by medical travellers are cardiology, oncology, orthopaedics, IVF, dental care and cosmetic surgery. Most are from the Asean region, mostly from Indonesia and Singapore with China and India not far behind.

The ShareMyLove campaign has been launched as part of MHTC’s efforts in promoting Malaysian hospitality and its healthcare services. The campaign promotion began with a collaboration of seven up-and-coming local artists. The aim is to create awareness of medical tourism opportunities in Malaysia.

Malaysia is also seeing an increase in interest in wellness/disease prevention treatments for health tourists.

The government is also encouraging private healthcare players to have their hospitals MHTC-certified to increase the chances of being a preferred medical tourism destination.

According to the Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents medical tourism is lucrative, as healthcare travellers tend to stay longer. On average, a healthcare traveller spends a minimum of two weeks in the country. After their treatment they prefer to recuperate in Malaysia and can stay for long periods.