Myanmar delegates tour Penang for healthcare travel, in conjunction with the launch of Air Asia’s new Penang-Yangon route
Penang 22 March 2016 - The Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council (MHTC) welcomed 35 delegates from Myanmar, comprised of hospital top management, specialists, travel agencies and members of the media, for a personalised tour of Penang’s world-class offerings for healthcare travellers.
The event ran in conjunction with the launch of Air Asia’s new Penang-Yangon route, available as of today increasing Malaysia’s accessibility for Myanmar healthcare travellers seeking treatment in the country. Ms Sherene Azli, Chief Executive Officer of the MHTC commented, "Myanmar and Malaysia are practically neighbours in the ASEAN community. We are confident that with this new direct flight route and with Malaysia Healthcare’s existing representative office in Yangon offering end-to-end service, it will certainly drive up the number of patients from Myanmar to Malaysia. In particular to Penang significantly”.
Malaysia strives to make its healthcare services more accessible to its neighbours, particularly in line with the spirit of the ASEAN Economic Council’s (AEC) goals for 2020. Familiarisation outreach programs such as this help showcase the levels of accessible and affordable quality healthcare available in Malaysia, for the benefit of all citizens,” added Sherene.
Delegates will be taken on a 5-day tour of Penang’s premier healthcare facilities, which include Gleneagles Penang Medical Centre, Loh Guan Lye Specialist Centre, Penang Adventist Hospital and Island Hospital, and visit the state’s most famous tourist attractions, highlighting some of the reasons about 850,000 travellers picked Malaysia as their healthcare travel destination of choice in 2015. Over 60% of Malaysia’s healthcare travellers received treatment in Penang.
Internationally, Malaysia has gained fast popularity for its highly accessible and affordable world-class quality care, which resulted in hospital revenues of more than RM900 million for the country in 2015. Malaysia also won numerous international accolades, including “Medical Travel Destination of the Year 2015” by the International Medical Travel Journal, and “Best Country in the World for Healthcare 2014-2016” by International Living’s Global Retirement Index. Three key virtues, i.e. quality, accessibility and affordability, set the country’s healthcare system apart. According to Sherene, “Our hospitals are closely monitored by the Ministry of Health (MoH) and accredited by bodies such as the Malaysian Society for Quality in has (MSQH) and Joint Commission International (JCI), ensuring the highest in international industry standards.”
Additionally, Malaysia has over 250 private hospitals located around the country, making it easy for healthcare travellers to seek out the treatments they need. What’s more, the cost for treatments in the country is touted to be one of the most affordable in the region. Popular treatments sought are in cardiology, oncology, IVF, orthopaedics, dentistry and cosmetic surgery, with the bulk of health travellers arriving from Indonesia, Bangladesh, India, the Middle East, Australia, China, Indochina and Japan.
MHTC also seeks to further expand its market share in other regions by leveraging and targeting markets that Air Asia currently offers direct flights with. Potential patients from these markets will certainly have better accessibility to the healthcare facilities in Malaysia and hence can experience for themselves the quality care Malaysia truly offers.
In further strengthening Malaysia’s vision of being the preferred healthcare travel destination in the region and ultimately be the top of mind globally, three new Representative Offices were established last year in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi (Vietnam) and Yangon (Myanmar) complementing existing offices in Jakarta (Indonesia), Dhaka (Bangladesh) and Hong Kong.