PETALING JAYA – The Health Ministry via Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council (MHTC) is moving aggressively to boost health tourism industry revenue this year.
Deputy Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Hilmi Yahaya said the industry contributed RM730 million in revenue to the country last year and the government was targeting to increase it by 10 per cent this year.
He said more promotional efforts were being undertaken by MHTC to position Malaysia as a unique destination for world-class healthcare services at the international level.
“So far, Penang received the highest number of health tourists, followed by Kuala Lumpur and Melaka. Around 60 per cent of the tourists to Penang came for health treatment,” he said.
He told reporters this after the launch of Columbia Asia Hospital here, today.
The hospital which is the 11th in Malaysia and 28th in the region, provides medical facilities including internal medicine, Paediatrics, General Surgery, Orthopaedics, Urology, Spine surgery and Gastroenterology.
Dr Hilmi also urged more private hospitals in the country to join MHTC and work together in generating revenue through the health tourism industry for economic growth.
MHTC, established under the ministry, aimed to bring together the nation’s dual heritage of hospitality and medical innovation as well as highlighting Malaysia as the preferred healthcare travel destination in the Asian region.
Dr Hilmi said to date, around 60 groups of hospital and healthcare centres were registered with the MHTC.
Meanwhile, he said the ministry would increase the frequency of fogging in Selangor to address the increase of dengue cases in the state.
According to iDengue website, Selangor recorded the highest cases with 26,877 since Jan 4 until May 28, 2015. – BERNAMA