Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S Subramaniam (pix) said medical tourism generated RM1.12 billion last year through 996,000 medical tourists whereas in 2015 RM914 million was gained from over 859,000 medical tourists.
“Among the medical services that get the highest demand in Malaysia are cardiology, orthopaedic, oncology, neurology, dental and cosmetic surgery,” he said in a parliamentary written reply yesterday.
Subramaniam was responding to Er Teck Hwa (DAP-Bakri), who had asked the government to give detailed statistics of medical tourism in 2015 and 2016.
“The focus markets are Indonesia, China, Myanmar and Vietnam, with continued efforts in the existing markets.
“The marketing strategy of Malaysian medical tourism has also shifted to high-value customers by offerings niche medical treatment to increase average income derived from each medical tourist,” he said.
The Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council (MHTC), formed in 2009, has identified four key focus markets to aggressively promote Malaysia’s medical tourism industry.
Subramaniam said the promotion efforts have proven to be effective with the growing number of medical tourists to Malaysia.
He also noted that according to statistics, medical tourists to Malaysia are mostly from Indonesia, India, China, Japan and the UK.
Subramaniam said among long-term initiatives underlined for the sector is the continuous branding of medical tourism via campaigns such as “Malaysia Loves You” and “Share My Love”.
He added that the ministry will also expand marketing activities beyond traditional markets while strengthening Malaysia’s position as a speciality and sub-specialty healthcare provider.
“The government is confident that with the existing strategy and with strong support from all quarters, Malaysia will be able to realise the country’s goal to be a preferred health tourism destination in the region,” he said.
— THE SUN