NCIA wants to attract more medical tourists
MALAYSIA recorded healthcare travel revenue of RM594 million last year, up 16.2 per cent from RM511 million in 2011.
Northern Corridor Implementation Authority (NCIA) chief executive officer Datuk Redza Rafiq attributed the increase to aggressive efforts of the Health Ministry and agencies such as the NCIA, together with 72 hospitals and healthcare facilities registered with the Malaysian Healthcare Travel Council.
"The NCIA will continue working with health providers in Penang to attract medical tourists from key Indo-China markets like Myanmar, Vietnam and Bangladesh.
"We are stepping up efforts to assist hospitals here to penetrate new markets in the region, in addition to existing markets such as Indonesia, Japan, Europe and Australia," he said at the opening of the International Conference For Cancer Caregivers, organised by Adventist Oncology Centre and Penang Adventist Hospital, here, yesterday.
Redza's speech was read out by NCIA's acting tourism division head Muhammad Zaki Mohd Saman.
Also present was Penang Adventist Hospital chief executive officer Dr Wesley Toh See Wei.
Redza said last year, the seven-member Penang Health Association (PHA) received 327,376 foreign medical tourists, which contributed some 60 per cent to Malaysia medical tourism receipts.
"The PHA is an organisation that NCIA works closely with to develop the medical tourism agenda in order to bring more jobs and business opportunities to the Northern Corridor Economic Region," he added
"As the regional enabler, facilitator and business partner to the private sector as well as a friend to the community, the NCIA bears witness to Penang Adventist Hospital's efforts in helping to bring the nation's already comprehensive range of general, secondary and tertiary healthcare services to the next level through greater specialisation".
Statistics from the Penang Health Association revealed that RM314 million in hospital receipts were recorded for medical tourism by its members in 2012. The figure reflects a 14 per cent increase from the year before.