Malaysia: a destination for preventive healthcare

At the World Travel Market (WTM) 2022 in London next week, Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council (MHTC) will be promoting the country as a destination for travellers looking for preventive healthcare and wellness treatments.  It is particularly looking to set up strategic partnerships with travel agents and healthcare facilitators that will support the recovery of its medical travel sector.

MHTC has said it wants to strengthen its positioning as a preventive healthcare destination via identifying strategic partnerships with global and regional travel agents and healthcare facilitators while at the WTM in London, 7-9 November.

The Council claims that in 2019 the country attracted 1.06 million European tourists and 1.22 million healthcare travellers.  It also states that the top 10 source countries for healthcare travellers were Australia, Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Singapore, Somalia, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Malaysia has a health system that has been evolving from curative care and treatments to preventive health and wellness.  The country is positioning itself as a regional hub for Cardiology, Oncology, Fertility and Dental treatments, as well as for Premium Wellness offerings.  Malaysia Healthcare’s Premium Wellness Programme is an industry-wide collaboration with private hospitals, hotels and travel companies in the country. The programme integrates comprehensive health screening with hotel accommodation and leisure tour itineraries containing options to add on dental aesthetics, cosmetic procedures, and other treatments such as Hepatitis C, cancer, and heart screening.

“In line with the third Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) of the United Nations to ‘ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages’, Malaysia is committed to consistently progressing our healthcare system to empower and encourage healthier lifestyles with enhanced health screening capabilities, for everyone,” says Mohd Daud Mohd Arif, Chief Executive Officer of MHTC.

Malaysia Healthcare and Tourism Malaysia will showcase the end-to-end patient journey experience during with WTM event.  It will promote the country’s specialist treatment areas, including cardiology, oncology, fertility, orthopaedics, neurology, and aesthetics such as bariatric treatments, as well as dental and other cosmetic services.

Individual state tourism bodies from Sarawak, Sabah, Penang, Selangor, Johor, Perak and Melaka will also be represented at WTM, all of whom are promoting premium wellness packages through local private healthcare providers.

MHTC will also be signing a Memorandum of Understanding with SHINON Healthcare, a medical assistance and healthcare travel agency supporting patients seeking treatment outside of their country.

“We recognise how crucial it is to form strategic partnerships to catalyse industry recovery moving into 2023. It is key for Malaysia Healthcare to identify and join forces with other industry partners who share the same value system and commitment towards service excellence. We are at WTM London to reach out to travel agents and healthcare facilitators, whose markets have been historically coming to Malaysia for both healthcare and tourism opportunities, for collaborative opportunities and training programmes, such as the Health Facilitator Training Programme. Our intention is to ensure we engage the like-minded partners, such as SHINON Healthcare, in realising our ambition of offering the Best Healthcare Travel Experience,” said Mohd Daud.

The Health Facilitator Training Programme aims to equip tour and travel agents with the necessary knowledge and skills to provide services to potential healthcare travellers who are considering Malaysia.

Malaysia has over 250 private healthcare facilities that are regulated by the Ministry of Health Malaysia (MOH). The MOH oversees the ceiling rates for healthcare treatments in the country, with the aim of offering accessible and affordable healthcare with little to no wait time. MHTC works closely with over 80 of these private healthcare facilities who are registered members on the Council.