Malaysia Healthcare Chronicles

The Future of the International Patient: Lessons from Malaysia

With hospitals at the forefront in the battle against COVID-19, it is undeniable that the pandemic has perhaps forever altered the patient experience. This is more so true for the healthcare traveller, who physically leaves home to a healthcare destination for medical treatment. 

At the recent Private Healthcare Summit 2021 organised by LaingBuisson, Mohd Daud Mohd Arif, Chief Executive Officer of Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council (MHTC), shared on Malaysia Healthcare’s outlook for the future of the international patient.

Accessing healthcare services safely

The international patient will need assurance that they can access healthcare services a safely amidst the ongoing pandemic. Malaysia Healthcare’s response to this was to establish a medical travel bubble which can protect both inbound patients and the nation from further spreading the virus. The process of establishing this medical travel bubble began with a detailed planning process involving various parties within the public and private sectors including MHTC, the National Security Council, Ministry of Health Malaysia, Immigration Department of Malaysia and the MHTC Member Hospitals. By 1 July 2020, Malaysia was among the first countries to open a medical travel bubble, ensuring continuity of care in a safe manner. 

Identifying a trusted healthcare destination

The international patient will seek out a destination which can offer peace of mind when it comes to accessing much needed healthcare services and alleviate the fear of travelling amidst the ongoing pandemic. With an established system which exemplifies patient safety, earning the trust of patients is a higher possibility. This principle has guided Malaysia Healthcare at the pinnacle of success and even more so during the pandemic. Our response to providing a safe avenue for accessing healthcare services, which are backed by public sector parties assures the international patient that their safety is priority when travelling to Malaysia. 

Enjoying a patient centric journey experience

The pandemic will also cause the international patient to seek out for a more patient centric healthcare journey – including a more seamless experience at key touchpoints along the journey. To enhance the end-to-end healthcare journey Malaysia Healthcare offers, we are looking at improving key touchpoints through digital means. This would allow international patients ease of planning, making changes and seeking out needed services and information easily throughout their Malaysia Healthcare experience. The process of enhancing these key touchpoints falls back to the strong public-private partnership which fuels the healthcare travel industry of Malaysia. 

As MHTC continues to navigate the industry New Normal, our central role as the facilitator of Malaysia’s healthcare travel industry becomes more imperative for the recovery of the industry. By leveraging the strengths of both the public and private sectors, we endeavour to achieve the Malaysia Healthcare’s 2019 revenue earnings in 5 years.As we move forward by showcasing Malaysia’s strengths as a safe and trusted destination, we aim to one day achieve our ultimate goal of positioning Malaysia as the leading global healthcare destination.

Planning your healthcare journey to Malaysia? Find out more here

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