Reference Materials for IMTJ Awards 2018
Reference materials to support Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council’s submission for the IMTJ Awards 2018
Category: Health and Medical Tourism: Cluster of the Year
(fn1) Estimate of economic impact is based on multiplier effect of 2.23 by the Global Wellness Tourism Report 2014 from Stanford Research Institute. The multiplier effect reflects expenditure on miscellaneous non-medical related expenses such as transportation, accommodation and tourism activities.
(fn2) Regional industry growth: 14 – 15%. Source: Frost & Sullivan, Transformational Health, APAC Medical Tourism Revenue Forecast, 2013-2019 Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia Transformational Health Insights.
(fn3) See Awards on Page 42 or the Outcomes section.
(fn4) IMTJ is the International Medical Travel Journal.
(fn5) MHTC faced a budget reduction by 60% in 2017.
(fn6) Thailand aims to project themselves as Asia’s anti-aging centre supported by 500 medical specialists in this sector. The government has approved 90-day visas for patients and medical visitors to boost Thailand’s medical tourism. Source: https://www.imtj.com/news/open-new-shades-thailand/
The Department of Health in Ho Chi Minh City has opened to the public the first medical tourism centre in the city, in the General Hospital Sai Gon. HCM City University Medical Centre says the number of foreign patients at the hospital had been rising by 4,000 every year for the past few years, hitting 22,000 in 2016. Source: https://www.imtj.com/news/medical-tourism-centre-opens-ho-chi-minh-city/
Since January 1, 2014 Indonesia has been building a universal healthcare system, expected to be fully functional by 2019. By March 2015 more than 142 million people were already insured under the new system, called “Badan Penyelenggara Jaminan Sosial” (BPJS). The aim is for the country’s entire population – an estimated 267 million people by 2019 – to be covered by the BPJS by the time the system is fully implemented. Investors and Indonesian healthcare providers (both public and private) are aggressively investing in new facilities and equipment. This is to encourage Indonesians to stay local, particularly now with the use of universal healthcare (BPJS). Improving these facilities and building more will lead to greater investment in the Indonesian private sector, and repatriate Indonesians’ overseas health spending.
(fn7) The ITA was introduced to encourage private healthcare facilities to expand their capacity, to better cater to healthcare travellers as well as for the upgrade and refurbishment of their medical technologies.
(fn8) Malaysia has stringent immigration requirements, a policy which has effectively kept the country among the safest in the world. However, several policy changes have been instituted to facilitate the ease of travel to the country for health travellers, as part of the unique service for health travellers to Malaysia. These privileges can be accessed via the Malaysia Healthcare Representative Offices.
(fn9) The programme is tested and will be improved upon to be applied to other markets in 2018.
(fn10) The Account Manager Programme streamlines Malaysia Healthcare’s services into a single-point contact for information.
(fn11) CICUCO is a commercial brand campaign in the pipeline that uses various platforms to create an online following for our commercial website, medicaltravelmalaysia.com.
(fn12) The ongoing Reality Check Programme is a video contest run among college students together with healthcare providers, an initiative under the CICUCO campaign.
(fn13) The Share My Love campaign is aimed at capturing the essence of Malaysian hospitality by using art as a medium to convey the expression of love. The campaign aims to build awareness on Malaysia’s potential as a leading healthcare travel destination while emphasising on Malaysia Healthcare’s niche attributes which are Word-Class Quality, Easy Accessibility, Affordability and Ease of Communication. Share My Love featured a collaboration with 7 artists who each produced an artwork based on the colours of the rainbow to express their message of love. For more information, please visit www.mylovesyou.com.
(fn14) MHTC engaged 17 agencies from across 6 countries and established partnerships to maximise impact for global marketing and serving health travellers by creating new areas of opportunity and building upon existing service offerings. These strategies allowed Malaysia to successfully overcome the limitations posed by constrained marketing budgets.
(fn15) Collaborations currently in the pipeline include the Dubai Police, Brunei Health Ministry, Aasandha Insurance, Maldives; Ikatan Dokter Indonesia (IDI), Indonesia; Ministry of Health Tuvalu.
(fn16) A nation or territory considered as an organized political community under one government.
(fn17) The Strategic Review serves as a platform to facilitate ongoing collaboration between the public and private sectors in the Malaysian healthcare industry.
(fn18) MCL staff were additionally provided with First-Aid training, Mandarin language classes and soft-skills development workshops to enrich their service quality offerings.
(fn19) The well-acclaimed Medical and Concierge Lounge (MCL) set up by Malaysia Healthcare at respective airports to facilitate a seamless entry for healthcare travellers, were further enhanced with new features to cater for more comfort to healthcare travellers.
(fn20) Partnered with Media Plus Service Pte Ltd to set up call centre in India.
(fn21) The PHTE Programme is a programme funded by MHTC as one of the benefits for MHTC’s member hospitals to measure the treatment outcome performance by a 3rd party, in order to benchmark against the world’s standards of care.
(fn22) Participation rose from 18% to 41% of Elite members.
(fn23) The study revealed that total service capacity is expected to exceed demand until 2020, with 65% of MHTC’s Elite’s serving operating at >75% utilisation rates i.e. serving large in-flows of Healthcare Tourists/ Foreign Patients. It was also from this study that MHTC uncovered the therapeutic areas/ specialties with the highest capacity utilisations and biggest demand were in Cardiology and Fertility. It is then that MHTC further strengthened its role in driving the industry on track towards achieving RM2.8bil 2020, and with the Government’s support it was announced in Budget 2018 – Establishing Malaysia as the Asian Hub for Fertility Treatment (IVF) and Cardiology (which will be further expanded with the Medical eVisa and high-end medical travel packages), and the introduction of the Flagship Medical Tourism Hospital Programme. With this, Malaysia is expected to see marginally higher growth in healthcare travel volume and revenue than the rest of the ASEAN players.
(fn24) MHTC participated in numerous speaking engagements to ensure continuous brand awareness in countries such as Indonesia, India, China, Thailand, Singapore, Korea, Croatia, Australia and London.
(fn25) MHTC hosted FAM Visits for doctors, media representatives and healthcare facilitators from Japan, China, Myanmar, Bangladesh, India, Korea, Indonesia, Australia and USA to extend the Malaysia Healthcare experience and hospitality through or service offerings and medical infrastructure.
(fn26) The HotDoc Campaign is a programme that showcases doctors in a personalised manner. MHTC worked closely with the Malaysian Advertising Board (KKLIU) in 2017 with a target to roll out the campaign in 2018.
(fn27) MHTC worked closely with Tai Orient and Sunfert International Fertility Centre in facilitating the journey of a couple in China throughout their fertility treatment. The success of this journey has been documented in a video titled ‘Mum’s Diary’ and uploaded on Youtube.
In 2010, under Malaysia’s Economic Transformation Programme, focus was given on 12 National Key Economic Areas (NKEAs). Healthcare was identified as one of the key areas receiving prioritised government support to bring both the public and private sectors to develop the healthcare industry in a more organised and coherent manner. Hence, the Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council (MHTC) was established as a dedicated body to promote Malaysia as a healthcare travel destination. Malaysia has since won numerous healthcare travel awards, a testament to our effective facilitation.
MHTC faced its fair share of challenges in 2017. Chief among them were a 60% budgetary setback, emergence and strengthening of regional competitors, and reduced presence across focus markets. We faced these challenges head on by leveraging on our networks and partnerships, fortifying internal processes, enhancing end-to-end experience, and upholding our promise of delivering quality care for peace of mind.
MHTC worked closely with industry stakeholders and players addressing issues faced by both the healthcare travellers and providers. Through industry facilitation and optimisation of digital marketing, creative solutions were generated to ease the end-to-end experience, streamline communication and raise brand awareness. Additionally, MHTC implemented various initiatives anchored upon our core pillars to engage stakeholders and industry players in collaborations that ensure continuous improvement of the industry.
As a result, Malaysia Healthcare is on track to reach a 16% revenue growth with a total of MYR1.3bil in hospital revenues and total gross economic impact of MYR5bil(fn1). By 2020, MHTC aims to grow the industry annually by 20-30% and gain MYR2.8bil in hospital revenues with an estimated economic impact of MYR10bil.
In driving this ambition forward, MHTC’s brainchild Malaysia-Year-of-Health-and-Wellness 2020 will be held in tandem with Ministry of Tourism and Culture’s initiative, Visit Malaysia Year 2020, projecting Malaysia’s profile further into the global platform.
Malaysia’s healthcare travel industry, an agenda under the Prime Minister’s Office, has been identified as an Entry Point Project (EPP4) under the National Key Economic Area (NKEA) blueprint for the healthcare industry to propel Malaysia to become a high-income economy.
Image 1: Driving Malaysia’s healthcare travel industry
The driving force behind Malaysia’s healthcare travel industry is the public and private partnerships between government sectors, healthcare providers and other industry players. All these are facilitated efficiently and effectively by Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council (MHTC) towards propelling Malaysia as the leading global destination for healthcare.
Image 2: Vision and Mission of MHTC
Established under the guidance of the Ministry of Health, MHTC functions as the promotion and facilitation arm of the healthcare travel industry, intervening across areas of policy, logistics and investments.
For 2017, MHTC has driven Malaysia’s healthcare industry to attain 1 million healthcare travellers and MYR1.3bil in revenues, with a year-on-year (Y-o-Y) growth of 16% outpacing the regional industry growth of 14-15%(fn2). By 2020, MHTC aims to grow the industry by 20-30% annually, with a goal of MYR2.8bil in revenues.
A key anchor of this growth is the Malaysia Healthcare brand which has a proven track record of competing against global industry titans — and winning(fn3). Internationally acclaimed bodies, IMTJ(fn4) and Global Health and Travel, have awarded Malaysia as an excellent healthcare destination for multiple consecutive years.
MHTC was also awarded in 2017 with the “Cluster of the Year” Award by IMTJ and the Medical Travel Organisation of the Year award by Asia Pacific Healthcare & Medical Tourism.
Malaysia Healthcare’s projected growth towards becoming the leading global healthcare destination by 2020 has been marked out in stages by MHTC.
Ref Image 3: Leading Malaysia Healthcare towards a sustainable future
The following targets were mapped out to achieve our over-arching ambition to:
- Achieve MYR2.8bil in revenues by 2020
- Enhance End-to-End Experience management
- Position Malaysia as a Fertility and Cardiology Hub
- Introduce Flagship Hospitals
- Fortify Networks Abroad
Image 4: Driving towards 2020
MHTC faced multiple hurdles in 2017 resulting in a challenging year of promoting and facilitating the industry:
- Ministry and industry-wide budget constraints(fn5)
- Strengthening of regional competitors(fn6)
- Reduced presence in focus markets
Ref Image 5: Challenges Faced by MHTC
MHTC’s strategies are rooted in the government’s Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) blueprint. Strategies for the sustainable evolution of the healthcare travel industry has been outlined as:
- Amplifying branding and marketing
- Building industry sustainability
- Creating niche experiences with focus on services
Image 6: The nation’s blueprint forms the base of Malaysia Healthcare’s strategies
MHTC’s efforts were anchored on these three core pillars:
- industry facilitation
- optimisation of digital marketing
- sustainable growth
Image 7: MHTC’s strategy to be the leading global destination for healthcare
MHTC facilitates and coordinates the relevant industry stakeholders towards achieving the 2020 goals.
Image 8: Relevant Stakeholders in the Malaysia Healthcare ecosystem
Leveraging on these partnerships, MHTC overcame financial constraints and maintained Malaysia’s regional competitive edge. In addition, our improved seamless end-to-end experience delivery created a stronger value proposition and increased opportunities.
Image 9: Malaysia Healthcare’s enhanced seamless end-to-end journey experience
In 2017, Malaysia Healthcare also pushed niche treatments to focus markets, (Indonesia, China, Vietnam, Myanmar, India) and addressed the gaps in service delivery. Using this methodology in China, Malaysia witnessed an encouraging 30% revenue growth. Even our traditional market, Indonesia resulted in a 22% growth with this initiative.
MHTC developed imperative innovations anchored upon industry facilitation to enhance the end-to-end experience delivery:
(1) Policy Advocacy
(a) Widening and extension of incentives
(i) Double tax allowance for accreditation
(ii) Investment Tax Allowance (fn7)
(iii) Increase in tax exemption for revenue growth
(b)Visa facilitation for healthcare travellers
(c)Investing in Flagship Hospital Programme
(d)Positioning Malaysia as a Cardiology and Fertility Hub
Image 10: Policy initiatives elevated in 2017, aimed at creating a sustainable model for industry growth
(2) Malaysia Healthcare Traveller Programme (MHTP)
MHTP is a joint initiative between the Immigration Department and MHTC. This ground-breaking online-based platform (eVisa) offers a new hassle-free visa (fn8) extension channel.
Image 11: The eVisa online process simplifies visa application for healthcare travellers
(3) Enhancing connectivity and transportation
- Expansion of Melaka International Airport to accommodate larger carriers
- Negotiated special bus license for healthcare traveller transportation
- Facilitated enhancement of ferry facilities and services
Image 12: Connectivity issues and their solutions
(4) China Pilot Programme(fn9)
- Introduced seamless holistic niche travel experiences for Chinese healthcare travellers
Image 13: China Pilot Project
(5) Account Manager Programme(fn10): An added innovation to MTHC’s Partnership Programme, providing 73 members with customised support to improve performance with:
- a one-stop directory and value-add services for healthcare travellers
- access to market intelligence and specific government incentives
- international exposure to healthcare travellers
Image 14 and 15: MHTC partner benefits and Account Manager categories and Malaysia Healthcare’s leading private hospitals
OPTIMISATION OF DIGITAL MARKETING
MHTC maintained Malaysia Healthcare’s visibility internationally through innovative digital campaigns. The Check-In, Check-Up, Check-Out (CICUCO(fn11)) campaign was developed to drive(fn12) audience to Malaysia Healthcare’s commercial website, www.medicaltourism.com.my.
Image 16: The sustainable ecosystem of MHTC’s digital marketing
Image 17: CICUCO Facebook page and Reality Check programme
“#SHAREMYLOVE(fn13)”, a continuation of the “Malaysia Loves You” campaign, enticed audiences to “Experience Malaysia Healthcare, Embrace Malaysian Hospitality”. The global campaign garnered 1,800 contest entries and overall digital reach of over 450,000.
Image 18: #SHAREMYLOVE summary
Recognising the value of strategic partnerships, MHTC focused on building alliances and fortifying existing relationships locally and globally:
(1) Global Partnerships
MHTC gained 70 new partners(fn14) across Asia
Image 19: Global partnerships
MHTC built new networks(fn15) in Brunei, Maldives and Tuvalu.
Image 20: Government-to-Government network building
(3) Public-Private Partnerships
MHTC facilitated collaborations across:
(a) Various ministries and industries i.e., Ministry of Tourism and Culture and Mayflower Tours to create high-end niche travel packages
(b) State(fn16) governments (Melaka, Penang, Johor) and industry players to enhance service offerings i.e., transportation and connectivity
Image 21: Public-Private partnerships
Image 22: Public and private stakeholders in healthcare travel industry value chain
In maintaining standards and strengthening service offerings throughout the value chain, MHTC:
(1) Engaged in discussions with stakeholders and industry players to generate ideas for industry growth:
(a) CEO Dialogues – facilitated by Health Minister.
Image 23: Moments captured during CEO Dialogues
(b) Industry Strategic Review(fn17) – chaired by Director-General of Health.
Image 24-26: Industry Strategic Review
(2) Broadened and enhanced quality of service offerings to healthcare travellers
(a) Improved the end-to-end service offerings with an enhanced Meet-and-Greet-Service(MGS)(fn18) at the Malaysia-Healthcare-Medical-Concierge-and-Lounge(MCL)(fn19)
Ref Image 27: The Meet-and-Greet service process
(b) Established call centre(fn20) in India
Ref Image 28: Call centre training and India call centre
(3) Invested in market intelligence initiatives to grow industry sustainably and boost healthcare providers’ performance:
(a) Partnership-in-Healthcare-Travel-Excellence (PHTE) programme(fn21) enables healthcare facilities(fn22) to provide credible clinical outcome reporting.
Ref Image 29: Sample report from Mount Miriam for its nasopharyngeal cancer treatment
(b) Service Capacity Study:
Ensures supply-side sufficiency and investment pipelines towards meeting 2020 goals(fn23).
Hosted medical travel market intelligence conference to exchange industry insights and experiences.
Ref Image 30: Statistics on InsigHT2017
Given the challenges, to maintain continuous brand visibility, MHTC employed several key initiatives:
(1) International Speaking Engagements over 10 countries(fn24).
Image 31: Selected speaking engagements in various locations
(2) Familiarisation Visits(fn25) from 9 countries.
Image 32: FAM visits from our markets
(3) Optimisation of digital marketing through seven different platforms (Twitter, Youtube, LinkedIn, WhatsApp, WeChat, Instagram, Facebook)(fn26,27).
Image 33: Digital marketing efforts to broaden our global reach
The effectiveness of initiatives implemented by MHTC was reflected in feedback from healthcare travellers, stakeholders and industry experts.
FEEDBACK FROM HEALTHCARE TRAVELLERS
Patients across the globe found Malaysia to be a convenient and affordable healthcare destination of choice. Patients commended the expertise and professionalism of medical personnel, hospitality of caregivers, and appreciated the cost transparency shown. This assured them a seamless healthcare journey, capturing the essence of “Experience Malaysia Healthcare, Embrace Malaysian Hospitality”.
Patient testimonials from various countries are showcased here:
Image 34: Feedback from healthcare travellers
FEEDBACK ON END-TO-END SERVICES
The meet-and-greet service provided by the Malaysia-Healthcare-Concierge-and-Lounge staff have proven to be of great assistance to healthcare travellers and healthcare providers who praised the quality of services offered.
Image 35: Feedback on MCL services
MHTC’s assistance in facilitating visa extensions was deemed indispensable by hospitals and travellers alike.
Image 36: Feedback on MHTC’s assistance with visa extension
FEEDBACK ON INSIGHT 2017
InsigHT2017 received positive response, with more than 95% participants satisfied, promising to return for future programmes.
Image 37A-E: Feedback on InsigHT2017
FEEDBACK ON MARKETING INITIATIVES
Participants of FAM Visits enjoyed experiencing Malaysia, noting the quality of healthcare service offerings, warmth and hospitality of locals as well as attractiveness of travel packages.
Image 38: Feedback on FAM visits
TESTIMONIALS FROM INDUSTRY EXPERTS
Testimonials were received on MHTC’s role as the facilitation arm of Malaysia Healthcare by experts of the healthcare travel industry who noted the exemplary seamless end-to-end experience delivery and public-private partnerships within Malaysia Healthcare.
Image 39: Testimonials on Malaysia Healthcare by industry experts
TESTIMONIALS FROM INDUSTRY STAKEHOLDERS
MHTC received positive responses from industry stakeholders who work closely with the agency to improve the healthcare travel industry.
Image 40: Testimonials on MHTC by industry stakeholders
Malaysia Healthcare remained on track to reach the targeted 1 million healthcare travellers and MYR1.3bil in revenues in 2017 with a year-on-year growth of 16% outpacing the regional industry growth even with the given obstacles.
Image 41: Y-o-Y Healthcare traveller growth and forecast to 2020
Malaysia Healthcare’s growth across focus markets recorded a high of 30%, with minimal marketing spend.
Image 42: Healthcare travel revenue forecast growth by focus markets
By regions, revenues growth was recorded as high as 19%.
Image 43: Healthcare travel revenue forecast growth by region
SUCCESS OF INITIATIVES
Our digital initiatives recorded a reach of 3.8mil users and almost 1mil engagements via our platforms.
Image 44 and 45: Statistics of digital initiative global reach and #SHAREMYLOVE
FAM Visits resulted in a 245% increase in patient referrals and global reach.
Image 46: FAM visit results
MHTC raked in 5 awards in 2017 for stewardship, leadership and organisational performance.
Image 47: Awards received by Malaysia Healthcare and MHTC
THE FUTURE OF MALAYSIA HEALTHCARE
Towards 2020, MHTC aims to grow the industry by 20-30% annually, reaping MYR2.8bil in hospital revenues with an estimated economic impact of MYR10bil. This ambition will be anchored on the Malaysia-Year-of-Health-and-Wellness campaign, in tandem with Visit Malaysia Year 2020. Several initiatives have been established to drive this growth, which are:
- promoting Malaysia as the Cardiology and Fertility hub of Asia
- developing flagship hospitals
- creating high-end travel packages.
Image 48: 2018-2020 Initiatives for Malaysia Healthcare
Image 49: Budget 2018 presented by Prime Minister YAB Dato’ Seri Najib Abdul Razak in October 2017
As for 2018, MHTC aims to grow Malaysia Healthcare to attain MYR1.7bil in hospital revenues, while focusing on building trust along the value chain to strengthen partnerships and future collaborations. Moving forward with the determination, commitment and drive of stakeholders and industry players, MHTC intends to realise Malaysia as the leading global healthcare destination of the world.
Confidentiality: Please note that all information including financial figures and patient testimonials listed in this entry are strictly for judges’ eyes only. In the event that IMTJ wishes to publish figures and/or testimonials, please contact MHTC for approval. Thank you.
Feedback on InsigHT2017:
- Mr. Akmal Arief, National Heart Institute (IJN)
- Ms. Nadiah Wan, Tropicana Medical Centre
- Dato’ Dr. Jacob Thomas, Association of Private Hospitals Malaysia
- Mr. Varun Panjwani, Global Health and Travel
Feedback from Healthcare Travellers:
- Ms. Kelly Langl, New Zealand
- Mum’s Diary I (China)
- Mum’s Diary II (China)
- Mum’s Diary III (China)
- #SHAREMYLOVE: Campaign Video
- #SHAREMYLOVE: The Contest
- Reality Check Challenge