Wednesday, June 18, 2008

News - Malaysia's Healthcare Tourism

I am very interested in this view published in Utusan Malaysia (a Malaysian newspaper) today. I was responsible in handling the services section such as education, healthcare, construction... when I was in K.L. so this news is quite interesting for me.

On a segment aired by Today Tonight, Melbourne TV on Medical Tourism in Malaysia, the following reviews were given by some of the Australian patients:

Lynda Clifford, 48 yo
- face surgey by Dr. Nasir Zahari at one of the private hospital in Kuala Lumpur.
- she was also given counselling to give her confidence before and after the surgery
- apart from having the surgery, she was also able to visit attractive locations within Malaysia

Rosie Bates, 34 yo
- Stomach surgery and liposuction
- said that she got five star treatments during her visit in Malaysia
- after the successful surgery, she and her husband are able to tour Malaysia at very reasonable cost

From the website, there are some popular medical treatments that are offered by Malaysian medical centre and hospital including cardiology, ortophedics, dental, cosmetic surgery up to minor surgeries.

According to Dr. Norman, one of Australia edical practitioner, the total cost of health tourism package is about 1/3 of the same cost in Australia. For example, in Lydia's case, she spend only about AUD11,600 (RM35,000) for the surgery as well as holiday expenses. She would've paid AUD20,000 (RM60,000) only for having surgery in Australia.

Based on the statistic of Association of Private Hospitals Malaysia (APHM), there are positive increase on the inflow of foreign patients seeking treatments in Malaysia. For example, in 2006, there are 296,687 foreign patients coming to Malaysia as opposed to 75,210 in 2001. The positive development helps to bring RM203.66 million of health tourism revenue to Malaysia.

However, as stressed by Today Tonight, 59 per cent of Australian having surgery in certain countries need to get medical treatment again in Australia due to failure of surgery done overseas.

In this regard, Malaysian hospitals and medical centre need to be careful in handling this issues in order to ensure Malaysia's reputation as quality health providers are uphold.

Link to
Link to APHM website.

Extracted from the views by
Khairunneezam Mohd Noor
La Trobe University, Melbourne AUSTRALIA

Utusan Malaysia, 19 June 2008

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