The Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council (MHTC) is helping position Malaysia’s healthcare sector on the global platform.
Asignificant feature of the Malaysian tourism industry is the rapid growth of medical tourism, which is being increasingly viewed as a major contributor to the country’s economy. The Government of Malaysia aims to support it further to accelerate the growth rate of market share from 0.29% at present to 2% by 2012. The significance of health tourism in Malaysia’s economy is reflected in its contribution of nearly RM4 billion. If steered in the right direction, this sector holds the potential to contribute almost RM10 billion to the economy.
The number of medical tourists to Malaysia has recorded an increase from 75,000 in 2001 to 297,000 in 2006 to 375,000 in 2008 (contributing nearly RM300 million). During 2010, the Malaysian government had targeted a 30% increase in the number of medical tourists’ arrivals.
“Although Malaysia is emerging as one of the forerunners in health tourism, we still have a long way to go. We have a fast-growing private healthcare sector and a large base in the public healthcare sector, and we do hold the potential for further growth. We, therefore, need to prioritise the marketing and promotion of Malaysia as a healthcare destination. This is exactly where Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council (MHTC) comes into play,” says MHTC CEO, Dr. Mary Wong Lai Lin.