Assalamualaikum and greetings from Malaysia Healthcare!
Year ends are the perfect time to reflect on our accomplishments and challenges over the past 12 months as we realign ourselves to our goals for the next year. While it has been reiterated unceasingly on how 2020 has been an incredibly challenging year, I find myself drifting back to the first day I stepped into Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council as Chief Executive Officer.
In 2015, Malaysia was very little known to the wider world, apart from healthcare travellers whom we have been dutifully serving from our neighbouring countries. We knew that if we wanted to grow, we needed to put ourselves on the forefront and really show the world what we are capable of. On a mission to outgrow our name as the “Hidden Jewel of Asia”, we showcased our reputation for serving healthcare services to the world and picked up numerous awards along the way. Our reputation for winning awards, most recently at the International Medical Travel Journal (IMTJ) Medical Travel Awards 2020 and the Global Health Asia Pacific Awards 2020, has played a tremendous role in cementing our title as the World’s Healthcare Marvel.
Setting New Benchmarks
Malaysia would go on to attract increasing numbers of healthcare travellers, from 643,000 in 2011 to almost 1.3 million in 2019. So much so in 2018, we were reported to be the No.1 Healthcare Destination by Patient Volume according to LaingBuisson’s Medical Travel and Tourism Global Market Report. Our growth in numbers was matched in revenue, earning RM1.7 billion in 2019 from hospital receipts alone, resulting in a total economic impact of RM7 billion. As a result Malaysia Healthcare has been recognised as a key economic driver for the country and as the industry recovers, we have the potential to contribute to up to 10 billion to the economy. On that note, we are immensely humbled to receive the Government’s support of RM35 million as announced in the Budget 2021 to boost the healthcare travel industry.
Malaysia Healthcare has never shied away from embracing change. Aiming to be recognised for the wealth of medical travel thought leadership we possess, we hosted our annual medical travel market intelligence conference this year, virtually. Themed ‘Excellence for Collaboration’, insigHT2020 saw an attendance of 700 people from 15 industries across 32 countries, showcasing the interest and potential that healthcare travel holds despite momentary setbacks. We were also heavily supported by the Government of Malaysia with speeches from YB Dato’ Sri Dr. Adham Baba, Minister of Health, Malaysia and YB Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Economic Affairs) whose encouraging words and insights set pace for the rest of the event. The borderless exchange of ideas and thoughts that took place over the three days was a great boost for all of us at Malaysia Healthcare - I express my heartfelt gratitude to the support we received for insigHT2020 from the Government, sponsors - especially our Title Sponsor, TMOne, key industry leaders, all the participants and our event and media partners.
Adding yet another feather to our hat in the last quarter of the year is our very first virtual Medical Travel Media Awards 2020 (MTMA2020). Celebrating media as key frontliners who have kept us informed during the pandemic and for their contribution in profiling Malaysia Healthcare, MTMA2020 crowned nine winners this year virtually through a very joyous and glamarous awards ceremony.
Moving forward – The end starts with you
While Malaysia has been receiving international recognition for our pandemic management, the war against the pandemic is far from over. When push comes to shove, we are the masters of our own safety. We have the tools necessary to stem the pandemic down only if we all work together. The same sentiment is echoed by Health Director-General, Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Dr. Noor Hisham Abdullah who said that the onus in fighting COVID-19 is not only on the Health Ministry or the government but also each individual in the country.
Simply put, the end to COVID-19 starts with us. Let’s work together, come out at the top and truly instill our position as the Word’s Healthcare Marvel.
Ending the year with an optimistic outlook
The journey to get to where we are today has always been challenging – and as we have done it before, we can do it again!
We are soon approaching a new year, filled with fresh optimism and hope for a better future. Despite the challenges that the new normal posed for many, including the healthcare travel industry, it gives me an immense sense of pride when I look at all the milestones that Malaysia Healthcare has been able to achieve in the face of adversity.
Having assessed the road before us, we have armed ourselves with a game plan towards a revival of the healthcare travel industry anchored on three strategies: ensuring continuity of care, embracing digitalisation of healthcare and empowering Malaysia Healthcare through international branding. To this note, we remain committed in our plans for a successful industry rebound leveraging the implementation of a healthcare travel bubble and digitalisation.
As I come to a close, it is with a heavy yet contented heart that I relay to you that this is my last Malaysia Healthcare quarterly newsletter column. Vision, passion and faith have been my closest companions in serving my country and propelling Malaysia further in the global frontier for healthcare travel. I consider it a great honour to close my chapter at Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council with receiving the ‘Outstanding Leadership in Healthcare Travel’ award at the Global Health Asia Pacific Awards 2020. This recognition was made possible thanks to my support pillar, my #mhtcfamily.This honour is for them! My only wish is that 2021 will be a year of healthy industry rebound as we keep facing our challenges and celebrating our successes as ONE. #kitamenangsamasama #wewintogether
Stay safe everyone!
Thank you and signing off,Sherene Azli
Chief Executive Officer
Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council
Malaysia vs. COVID-19
Special Updates on COVID-19 in Malaysia
What you can do to help stop the pandemic
COVID-19 News Updates
International Recognition of COVID-19 Management in Malaysia
Awards Win Recap
Being Social: Healthcare Community Spreads Awareness and Positivity in Light of COVID-19
Malaysia Healthcare Buzz
The first ever insigHT 2020 Virtual Conference took place from 24th – 26th November 2020 and brought together industry experts in the global healthcare travel industry under one virtual roof.
The annual medical travel market intelligence conference (insigHT2020) attracted more than 700 attendees from 32 countries, including medical experts, travel agencies, technology and healthcare service providers, and government stakeholders.
The conference was officiated by Dato’ Sri Dr. Adham Baba, Minister of Health, Malaysia, with the presence of Dato' Sri Mustapa Mohamed, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Economic Affairs), Tan Sri Dato' Seri Dr. Noor Hisham Abdullah, Director General, Ministry of Health, Malaysia, and Tan Sri Dr. Jemilah Mahmood, Special Advisor on Public Health to the Prime Minister, Malaysia.
As the healthcare travel industry is expected to shrink in 2021 due to COVID-19, this year’s insigHT2020 functioned as an important platform to discuss new strategies to revive the healthcare travel industry.
Due to high demand, we are already working on plans for insigHT2021! Keep your eyes on this page for insigHT2021: https://www.mhtc.org.my/join-insight/
Title Sponsor & Digital Partner
Healthy Food Partner
This year, the Medical Travel Media Awards (MTMA) 2020 presentation ceremony was held virtually for first time on 10 December 2020. MTMA 2020 serves to recognise and reward excellence in journalism for both local and international media sharing stories that promote healthcare travel in Malaysia. We extend our gratitude to our sponsors, ParkCity Medical Centre, Sunway Medical Centre, Mahkota Medical Centre, Majestic Hotel and SM Advertising, for supporting the virtual debut of MTMA!
Having received nearly 400 excellent submissions from 11 countries in addition to Malaysia, our winners emerged victorious from immensely stiff competition. Members of media have been a vital source of information and have never ceased to serve the public by educating and keeping us informed during these times of crisis. It was also our pleasure to award these outstanding journalists for continually being advocates of Malaysia Healthcare.
A hearty congratulations to all winners:
Experience Malaysia Healthcare
When healthcare travellers first set foot in Malaysia, the Meet and Greet Service is their first point of contact as they begin their healthcare journey. This is part of our end-to-end patient services offerings at the Malaysia Healthcare Concierge and Lounge (MCL).
Kindly note that the operation hours for Malaysia Healthcare Concierge and Lounge at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) during the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) will be from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Mondays - Fridays). The MCL at KLIA2 and Penang International Airport (PIA) will not be operating until further notice. We look forward to welcoming you back to our shores.