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Malaysia Healthcare e-Newsletter | Q4 October-December 2023

A Message from Dr. Mohamed Ali

Chief Executive Officer

Assalamualaikum and greetings from Malaysia Healthcare.

Happy New Year! I hope you had a great start to the year and have been keeping safe. What a year it had been – 2021 proved to be a persistently turbulent year for the global healthcare travel industry, including Malaysia. However, it didn’t stop us to welcome foreign patients back to #experienceMalaysiaHealthcare at our shores within stringent SOPs and provide them the continuity of care through the medical travel bubble programme.

We have also charted a new course for a continuous and sustainable industry growth, which has been strategically proposed for roll-out over the next four years from now, guided by the Malaysia Healthcare Travel Industry Blueprint 2021-2025. With the Blueprint, we aim to improve the healthcare travel ecosystem and grow the Malaysia Healthcare brand within the targeted markets, namely Indonesia, China, Singapore, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Cambodia, Vietnam, the United Kingdom, the United States, Brunei and Middle East. These strategies ultimately will allow us uphold commitment in providing quality healthcare to international patients that is accessible and affordable, within a safe and trusted destination.

Local and international media also continued to play a vital role in driving the growth of Malaysia Healthcare brand and there’s no better way than to honour them with the third installment of the Medical Travel Media Awards (MTMA). We received a total of 420 submissions from a total of 15 markets, competing for six highly competitive award categories. Once again, MHTC would like to congratulate all the winners and we hope the media members would continue to be our brand ambassadors to position Malaysia as a safe and trusted healthcare travel destination.

This is only the start of Malaysia Healthcare’s journey to recovering and rebuilding the industry. Together, let’s rebuild the sector upon the existing confidence and trust in Malaysia as a safe and trusted healthcare travel destination and retain our competitiveness. More importantly, placing patient centricity as a key strategy moving forward as we place patients’ needs and experiences at the centre of our decision making.

Thank you.

Mohd Daud Mohd Arif
Chief Executive Officer
Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council


Emerging Trends in Medical Tourism Marketing:

Adapting for the Future

Key insights into how the medical tourism industry is evolving to meet changing demands and challenges to remain competitive

Trend 1: Leveraging Advanced Technologies for Marketing

Innovative technologies such as, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), and Big Data & Analytics play a crucial role in shaping marketing strategies in medical tourism. Ex. Chatbots, virtual assistants, virtual facility tours

Trend 2: Prioritising Personalised Experiences

Content personalisation, omnichan- nel marketing, and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) integration can create a seamless, consistent experience for the patient.

Trend 3: Emphasising Sustainable and Responsible Practises

Communicate and reflect your commitment to environmental sustainability (eco-friendly practices), ethical business practices, and community engagement.

Trend 4: Utilising Influencer Marketing and Collaboration

Identify relevant influencers, create engaging content, and leverage social media platforms to showcase the services and products offered and maximise reach & impact.

Trend 5: Focusing on Local and Regional Marketing Strategies

Localised content, partnerships with local providers, and targeted advertising ensures that the marketing tailored to the audience(s) and their location.

Trend 6: Embrace Mobile Marketing and Optimisation

Optimise marketing through responsive website design, mobile advertising, and mobile apps for interactivity, functionality, and convenience.

Trend 7: Integrating Telemedicine and Virtual Consultations

Expand your reach, enhance patient experience, and promote long-term patient engagement to maintain relationships and broaden the target audience(s).

Trend 8: Implementing Data-Driven Marketing Strategies

Tracking and measuring performance, segmentation and personalisation, and predictive analytics to maximise marketing efforts and the return on investment.

Trend 9: Prioritising Sustainable and Ethical Marketing Practices

Enhance your reputation and attract more patients through highlighting sustainable initiatives, promoting ethical medical practises, and transparency of pricing and policies.

Trend 10: Emphasising Holistic Patient Care in Marketing

Reflect your commitment to practices through highlighting comprehensive care, showcasing patient-centric facilities, and sharing patient testimonials.

8 Key Healthcare Trends (2023-2026)

Healthcare is a slow-moving industry, and nowadays, most organisations within the healthcare sector are starting to implement new tools and methods in medicine. These tools aim to make healthcare better, more cost-effective, and to detect diseases early. Here are the 8 biggest healthcare trends and opportunities to watch for in the future!

Trend 1: AI in Healthcare

Searches for "AI and healthcare" have surged by 540% over the past five years. The primary role of AI is to augment the intelligence of healthcare professionals rather than substituting their expertise. Ex. Aidoc uses AI to help radiologist spot visual abnormalities in CT scans and other medical scans.

Trend 2: Healthcare Becomes More Personalised

Personalised healthcare (PHC) involves tailoring medical treatments to individual needs, employing precision medicine for improved outcomes and reduced costs. One of the major reasons why it has become a fast-growing healthcare trend is due to the emergence of new, low-cost genetic testing products.

Trend 3: Wearable Devices Go Mainstream

Wearable devices are now more connected to healthcare. In 2018, the FDA approved the Apple Watch as a medical device. It can perform ECG tests and detect atrial fibrillation. Other wearables, such as Oura Ring and Fitbit, have conducted similar health studies.

Trend 4: Virtual Healthcare is Exploding

Accenture's 2020 survey shows that 62% of healthcare consumers favour virtual healthcare, with 57% interested in remote monitoring for ongoing health issues and 52% choosing virtual care for routine appointments. Telehealth offers an efficient and hygienic treatment option, which could help reduce the burden on the healthcare system.

Trend 5: Social Determinants of Health (SDOH) Comes into Focus

Non-medical factors which may impact one’s physical/mental health. Ex. Wealth, accessibility

Trend 6: Mental Health Becomes a Priority

Chronic conditions can be caused by behavioural issues and other preventable causes. Ex. Overeating, smoking, avoiding exercise.

Trend 7: Corporate Healthcare Goes Direct

Big corporations are developing telehealth services & healthcare bundles. Ex. Amazon Care (Amazon), Medical Digital Assist and Cityblock (Alphabet)

Trend 8: Healthcare is Unbundling

On-demand healthcare, varying levels of coverage from a wide selection of options (paying for what one needs), lowering costs.

Malaysia most visited country in Southeast Asia this year

From January to November, Malaysia welcomed 26.1 million foreign arrivals, becoming the most visited destination in Southeast Asia for the year.

Thailand followed closely with 24.6 million arrivals, while Singapore and Vietnam had 12.4 million and 11.2 million, respectively.

Countries in Southeast Asia competed by implementing flexible immigration policies to attract tourists.

Starting December 1, Malaysia initiated a 30-day visa-free entry for citizens from China and India, mirroring Thailand's approach.

Starting December 1, Malaysia initiated a 30-day visa-free entry for citizens from China and India, mirroring Thailand's approach.

Starting December 1, Malaysia initiated a 30-day visa-free entry for citizens from China and India, mirroring Thailand's approach.


Media Training - Indonesia

Date : September 2023 (ongoing)
Venue : Studio Malaysia Healthcare, Mitra Oasis Residence Tower

MHTC offered an exclusive opportunity that was unveiled during a recent media training session, a comprehensive 6-month media bundle package specially designed for participating hospitals. The main aim is to provide participating hospitals with a strategic and integrated approach to media relations, ultimately enhancing visibility and reputation.

5 Hospitals Participated

Sabre Travel Fair, Brunei

Date : 30th September 2023 – 1st October 2023 Venue : One City Shopping Centre, Sungai Hanching, Brunei

Leveraging on MHTC’s strong network with Tourism Malaysia in Brunei, MHTC participated in the prestigious Sabre Travel Fair. This exciting opportunity opened doors for collaboration and engagement between our esteemed hospitals and the expatriate community in Brunei.

Key activities include:

  1. Health talk sessions by participating hospitals
  2. Promoting specially tailored packages such as health screening, women’s health and more from member hospitals

2 Hospitals Participated

Media And Kol Familiarisation Trip To Experience Malaysia Healthcare

Date: 3rd – 6th October 2023

An initiative led by MHTC in collaboration with key stakeholders, including Tourism Malaysia, Tourism Selangor, and esteemed member hospitals. This collaborative effort which covered Penang, Kuala Lumpur, and Selangor respectively, aimed to engage international media and promote Malaysia’s healthcare excellence on a global scale.

Media representatives from Bangladesh, Indonesia, Philippines, and Malaysia actively participated in this initiative, adding a diverse and international perspective.

8 Hospitals Participated

Malaysia Healthcare Wellness Fair

Date: 14th October 2023
Venue: Aloki Convention Centre, Bangladesh

Inaugurated by Mr. Syed Moinuddin, Chief Guest, MHTC successfully hosted Malaysia Healthcare Week, aligning with World Mental Health Awareness Month.

Held in collaboration with MHTC’S Referral Partner in Bangladesh, GD Assist Ltd, the one-day fair presented exciting activities, engaging workshops, and invigorating dialogue sessions aimed at promoting healthcare and community well-being.

  • 16 wellness providers from Malaysia and Bangladesh.
  • 2,000 registrations
  • Coverage from 10 media agencies

4 Hospitals Participated

MH Pop-up Booth 2023

Date: 16th October 2023 – 12th November 2023
Venue: Tunjungan Plaza 3 Mall, Surabaya, Indonesia

As part of MHTC’s ongoing efforts to proactively create top of mind awareness, MHTC brought the MH Pop-Up Booth in Surabaya, a unique approach aimed at continuously strengthening and solidifying Malaysia Healthcare’s presence in the city. This innovative initiative provided a valuable opportunity to enhance hospital branding, showcase offerings, and engage with the local community.

9 Hospitals Participated

Flagship Programme CEO Coaching #3

Date: 16th October 2023
Venue: MHTC office

In collaboration with IQVIA Asia Pacific, MHTC has curated a series of masterclasses aimed at propelling participating hospitals to new heights across the pillars of medical excellence, service excellence, and international branding. Two CEO Coaching Sessions were concluded recently featuring:
  1. Esteemed speakers from @Procter & Gamble Health namely Aik Shian Heng, General Manager & Senior Commercial Director, Personal Healthcare, Malaysia, Singapore & Vietnam, and Tee Ai Ven, Medical & Technical Affairs Manager for Malaysia, Singapore & Vietnam at Procter & Gamble Health.
  2. David Boucher, CEO of Bumrungrad International Hospital Phuket, presented an engaging session “The Bumrungrad Story” to our finalists, highlighting the pivotal role of strategic industry partnerships in Bumrungrad’s success.
We extend our appreciation to the finalists for their active participation in these enriching sessions, and we look forward to their continued growth and success, particularly in achieving the targets outlined in their respective Acceleration plans.

5 Hospitals Participated

Flagship Medical Tourism Hospital Programme (FMTH) Media Fam Visit

Date: 16th – 19th October 2023

This is a collaborative effort between the Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council (MHTC) and Flagship Finalists from the Flagship Medical Tourism Hospital Programme (FMTH). The FAM trip was participated by media representatives from selected countries, namely Australia, Bangladesh, Brunei, Indonesia, and Philippines.

This event presents a unique platform to showcase the flagship hospital’s centers of excellence and highlight key features, including cutting-edge technology, world-class infrastructure, and exceptional service.

4 Hospitals Participated

Starcity MM2H Expo

Date : 21st – 22nd October 2023
Venue: Sheraton Hotel, Hong Kong

MHTC’s recent successful participation in the MM2H Expo in Hong Kong partnering with Starcity provided a valuable platform to showcase Malaysia as an attractive destination to reside in, with a special focus on the outstanding healthcare services that we offer.

  • 50 attendees participated in the expo
  • Seven (7) packages were successfully sold during the expo, and one potential attendee expressed interest in undergoing a pacemaker procedure at CVSKL

1 Hospital Participated

Flagship Medical Tourism Hospital Programme Annual Assessment for Flagship finalists

Date: 25th October 2023 to 3rd November 2023
Venue: All FMTH respective hospitals

Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council (MHTC) completed its annual assessment for the Flagship Medical Tourism Hospital (FMTH) finalists. The assessment was led by Mr. Devaraj Subramaniam, Mr. Hong Huei Tan and Dr. James Liew from IQVIA Solutions Malaysia along with programme leads from MHTC.

During the assessment, a knowledge-sharing session was also organised by Mr. Royston Lek, Executive Director for Asia Pacific at Mayo Clinic, where he shared success stories and case studies on healthcare excellence and maintaining medical and service excellence.

These FMTH finalists have shown remarkable progress in less than 12 months since the last assessment in Q3 2022, excelling in Medical Excellence, Service Excellence, and International Branding. Their dedication is evident in successful tech implementations, clinical outcomes, Centre of Excellence (CoE) accreditations, talent investments, regional recognitions/awards, and positive NPS scores.

We look forward to the finalists continuing their efforts until 2025 as part of the Flagship Acceleration phase. This initiative aims to establish top-tier Flagship hospitals, representing Malaysia with a strong brand presence, making Malaysia the premier destination for the Best Healthcare Travel Experience by 2025.

4 Hospital Participated

Maybank Indonesia Jakarta Health Talk

Date: 24th November 2023
Venue: Gedung Sentral Senayan 3, Jakarta
Topic: Potensi Penyakit dengan Tes Genetik

As part of MHTC’s collaborative efforts with Maybank Indonesia, MHTC facilitated Subang Jaya Medical Centre to share insights on Genetic Screening with Maybank Indonesia’s premier clients through a health talk, presented by Ms. Yoon Choon, Genetic Counsellor.

1 Hospital Participated

Jiahui International Hospital FAM Visit To Member Hospitals

Date: 26th – 29th November 2023

MHTC arranged a meeting with Jiahui International Hospital (Jia Hui) to discuss patient referrals to Malaysia, building upon the foundation laid during our engagement meeting in China. The meetings included comprehensive presentations from both parties, wherein the respective hospitals highlighted their services and unique value propositions, and areas where mutual cooperation could lead to enhanced healthcare services and strengthened partnerships between our institutions.

6 Hospitals Participated

Medical Travel Media Awards (MTMA) 2023

Date: 14th December 2023
Venue: Parkroyal Collection, Kuala Lumpur

The fourth edition of MTMA was a roaring success! MHTC sends its heartfelt congratulations to all the outstanding winners who have demonstrated unparalleled excellence in media travel journalism! This celebration not only recognizes the achievements of passionate talents from media and influencers but also highlights their dedication to advancing the healthcare industry. It’s evident that these individuals are the driving force behind positive change in the healthcare narrative, and their contributions have and will continue to be impactful.

  • Over 400 submissions from Malaysia and globally
  • 6 Award Categories
  • 11 winners from Malaysia and International
  • 200 attendees ranging from stakeholders, member hospitals, government agencies, media, KOLs, and more


Directorate Treatment Abroad FAM Visit

A significant achievement from MHTC’s recent participation at Oman Health 2023, held from 18 – 20 September 2023. During the event, MHTC’s team successfully secured a meeting with the Directorate of Treatment Abroad, Ministry of Health Oman, focusing on the empanelment of MHTC member hospitals for patient referrals.

MHTC hosted a FAM visit from National Committee for Treatment Abroad, Ministry of Health, Oman. The delegation included:

  • Dr. Sultan Salim Al Harthy, Director of Treatment Abroad, MOH Oman
  • Dr. Mohammed Jaaffer Mohammed Abdul Rahim, Chairman of the National Committee.
  • Dr. Bassim Al Bahrani, Vice President of the National Committee

5 Hospitals Participated