Malaysia is increasingly becoming a top choice for Bangladeshi medical tourists as the Southeast Asian country has been working hard to establish itself as a leading destination for healthcare services.
The number of Bangladeshis going to Malaysia for treatment was around 50,000 in 2018 and this year’s growth rate is on track, according to a top official of the Malaysian government.
“Last year Malaysia Healthcare served more than 1.2 million healthcare travellers globally. Of them, nearly 50,000 were from Bangladesh,” Sherene Azli, CEO of the Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council (MHTC), a wing of the finance ministry.
Addressing a group of Bangladeshi journalists who were there on a four-day visit, she said this year’s growth rate – 14 percent – in the five months till May is also very encouraging for Malaysia.
“Inflow of healthcare travellers is rising because of the world-class quality service we provide at affordable cost,” she said.
Malaysia has also been internationally recognised for its achievement in medical healthcare.
Azli said the Southeast Asian country was adjudged the “Best Country in the World for Healthcare” from 2015 to 2019. A US-based International Medical Travel Journal also commended Malaysia for its impressive improvement in medical treatment.
“As we move into 2020, we want more healthcare travellers to come and experience Malaysia Healthcare,” she said, adding that Malaysia would observe 2020 as a “Year of Healthcare Travel”.
Malaysia is getting ready to offer more for everyone next year, she noted without elaborating on those initiatives.
But this success for Malaysia did not come easily.
The MHTC was founded in 2009 to facilitate and grow Malaysia’s healthcare travel industry under a “Malaysia Healthcare” brand and make it the leading global healthcare destination by 2020.
Since then, the MHTC has worked to streamline industry players and service providers into a more focused development strategy to raise Malaysia’s profile in healthcare travel on an international stage.
It is an example of a successful model of public-private partnerships in growing the healthcare travel sector in Malaysia.
Malaysia Healthcare says Bangladeshi patients can discover high quality, accessible and affordable healthcare services through some of its prominent service providers: Gleneagles Kuala Lumpur, KPJ Ampang Puteri Specialist Hospital, KPJ Damansara Specialist Hospital, Sunway Medical Centre and Thomson Hospital Kota Damansara.
Specialists explained to the journalists firsthand the advanced technology used at these internationally accredited medical facilities, which cater a variety of treatments, including fertility, aesthetics and wellness, cardiology and oncology.
On top of that, there was a showcasing of the availability of halal cuisine and prayer facilities at hospitals, hotels and even at shopping areas, reflecting why the nation was named Top Country for Muslim Travel from 2011 to 2019 by MasterCard-Crescent Rating Global Muslim Travel.
Healthcare travellers are also offered Malaysia Healthcare Meet-and-Greet Service, which welcomes healthcare travellers at the aerobridge, assists them through immigration, baggage claim, and hosts them at a dedicated lounge.
“We are glad to have this delegation from Bangladesh experience Malaysia Healthcare,” said the MHTC CEO.
“We want communities in all these countries to understand that Malaysia Healthcare offers more than medical treatment. We offer a seamless end-to-end healthcare journey experience, putting thought into the needs of patients at their most vulnerable moments,” she said.