Malaysia has set up a one-stop centre to promote
the country's medical services and facilities abroad.
Healthcare Travel Council (MHTC) will be the primary
agency to promote and develop the country's health
tourism industry as well as position Malaysia as
a healthcare hub in the region.
will be established as a department within the health
ministry. It will report to an advisory committee
chaired by the health minister and co-chaired by
the minister in the Prime Minister's Department
responsible for the Economic Planning Unit.
which will be responsible for policy-related matters,
will comprise representatives from the government
and private sector involved in health tourism.
minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said the cabinet
had agreed on July 3 to the ministry's proposal
to set up the council.
now have a specialised body to champion and promote
medical tourism," he said after opening the
Association of Private Hospitals of Malaysia International
Healthcare Conference and Exhibition at the Kuala
Lumpur Convention Centre yesterday.
number of foreign patients coming to seek treatment
has increased from 39,114 in 1998 to 374,063 last
from foreign patients' hospital bills also rose
from RM14.1 million in 1998 to RM299.1 million last
of patients are from Indonesia, the Middle East
and Australia, coming for medical check-ups, and
cardiac or ortho- paedic treatment.
the influenza A (H1N1) pandemic and a global recession,
the government is projecting a 10 per cent growth
for the industry.
said medical tourism was a large industry identified
as one of the growth sectors.
MHTC would also promote medical, dental and eye
treatment and would be a corporate entity after
three years' of operations.