Malaysia announces five-year health travel blueprint

Saloma Link bridge in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

The Health Ministry of Malaysia has launched the Malaysia Healthcare Travel Industry Blueprint 2021-2025 developed by the Malaysian Healthcare Travel Council (MHTC) as a guideline for industry recovery. Its aim is to make Malaysia the best global healthcare destination by 2025.

The five-year industry blueprint aims to enhance the country’s current health care travel ecosystem, strengthen the Malaysia health care brand, and expand the introduction of Malaysia’s health care offerings to more targeted markets.

Key priorities include the maintenance of high-quality care and safety. Malaysia accepts that it needs to up the ante by embracing digitalisation of the entire patient journey experience.

With this blueprint, Malaysia has begun to redefine the patient experience, through a unified and collaborative approach to digitalisation. This will allow health care providers to improve upon service delivery and reinforce patients’ peace of mind, especially in Malaysia’s niche offerings, such as the fertility, cardiology and cancer.

The key strategies of the blueprint include improving the quality of medical care, digitising the patient journey, continuing efforts to be a world-leading destination that provides affordable medical offerings to health care travellers, and elevating Malaysia’s offerings in hospitality alongside its position as a safe and trusted destination for both medical and leisure offerings.

The end goal is to build a sustainable future for the health care system. An all-of-industry effort is needed to execute this Blueprint with excellence.

The blueprint is especially important as Malaysia health care has been identified as a key economic driver under the export services sector.

MHTC will continue to strengthen its public-private partnerships, which have driven the growth of medical tourism in Malaysia.

The Malaysia Healthcare Travel Industry Blueprint 2021-2025 will be rolled out in two phases, namely the Recovery Phase (2021-2022) and the Rebuild Phase (2023-2025).

The Recovery Phase will focus on reinforcing awareness of Malaysia health care’s quality offerings and enhancing the patient experience through digitalisation efforts. The Rebuild Phase will see industry players work together collectively to amplify awareness of Malaysia health care’s niche offerings.

MHTC is also establishing the Flagship Medical Tourism Hospital Programme to further strengthen Malaysia’s stance as a leading health care destination, as well as developing Malaysia as a destination for retirement living.

MHTC has been given a budget for 2022 of RM20 million (US$4.8m) to promote the country’s medical tourism sector internationally.

MHTC aims for the healthcare travel sector to grow by RM800million (US$193m) in revenue in 2022.