KUALA LUMPUR, 24 November 2020 – Opening conversations surrounding the healthcare travel industry in turbulent times, Malaysia Healthcare’s fifth instalment of insigHT2020 brought together industry experts in the global healthcare travel industry under one virtual roof. The annual medical travel market intelligence conference (insigHT2020) attracted up to 800 attendees from 24 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 for discussing new strategies to revive the healthcare travel industry.
“With the industry landscape evolving rapidly, our combined knowledge and insights will play a vital role to fast track the healthcare travel industry towards recovery,” said Sherene Azli, Chief Executive Officer of the Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council (MHTC). “In Malaysia, we have seen how collaboration between various sectors can lead to fruitful results during the peak of the pandemic when both public and private sectors worked hand-in-hand toward a unified goal of public safety. With insigHT2020, we wanted to replicate that model of active partnerships at the global level, with Malaysia leading that conversation”.
Key industry topics discussed at the conference included the implementation of digital initiatives in healthcare such as virtual consultations, telehealth platforms, home visits and e-pharmacies to ensure continuity of patient care. Additionally, the development of niche specialities and SOPs for the future of patient travel, with focus on collaborations and partnerships to revitalise the industry were also addressed.
Well-known industry players such as TM ONE, Tourism Malaysia, DoctorOnCall, EMA Global, Novo Reperio, and other supporting partners shared their expertise and valuable knowledge to further encourage the development of the healthcare travel industry post-pandemic.
“As the business and public sector solutions arm of Telekom Malaysia Berhad (TM), TM ONE is honoured to be part of this journey to assist Malaysia’s healthcare industry players with end- to-end digital solutions that will enable them to deliver continuity of care. Digital initiatives within the healthcare and healthcare travel sectors such as telehealth are increasingly being adopted in the region and we are excited to be able to support that. This is befitting of TM Group’s unique role as the enabler of Digital Malaysia,” said Ahmad Taufek Omar, Chief Executive Officer of TM ONE.
“In preparation for the international borders to fully reopen, both the healthcare and travel industry players are in preparation to ensure the best in healthcare and seamless patient experiences are provided. Fostering stronger collaborations between industries and stakeholders will be crucial to achieve excellence in this area, and help regenerate the healthcare travel industry,” added Sherene Azli.
The Cardiology Hub of Asia Set to Be Asia’s Focal Point for Cardiac Treatments
insigHT2020 also witnessed the launch of Malaysia as the Cardiology Hub of Asia, by Dato’ Sri Dr. Adham Baba, underlining the country’s expertise and technological advancements in cardiology treatments.
Known for our world class facilities, expert specialists, and end-to-end patient care, Malaysia has been a trusted and preferred choice for cardiology treatments in Asia Pacific equipped with specialised cardiac nursing staff, rehabilitation services and affordable treatment options.
Insitut Jantung Negara (IJN) has been at the forefront in introducing the latest advancement in the treatment of cardiac and thoracic diseases, recently becoming the first hospital outside of the United States to implant the Micra AV pacemaker, an implantable device for the treatment of a slow heart rate via pacing. “Malaysia’s growing talents and hospitals’ investments in the latest and state-of-the-art devices, equipment, and technology have given patients and clinicians the confidence to trust that we will fulfil our mission to be Asia’s centre of excellence and hub for cardiovascular and thoracic care,” said Datuk Dr. Aizai Azan Abd Rahim, Group Chief Executive Officer of IJN.
Malaysia has always been deeply invested in constantly improving existing facilities and introducing new technology for cardiac care, gaining patient trust and confidence. “We are excited to be on this journey as the Cardiology Hub of Asia together with Malaysia Healthcare,” said Timothy Chang of Cardiac Vascular Sentral Kuala Lumpur (CVSKL). “As a private Centre of Excellence for Cardiac and Vascular treatments, we are committed in providing clinical and service excellence to our patients, partners, and the community.”
Malaysia’s world-class quality, easily accessible, and affordable healthcare continues to be commended by international bodies amidst the global pandemic. It was one of the countries that demonstrated the best COVID-19 response recognised by the World Health Organization (WHO). Malaysia also reclaimed the coveted ‘Destination of the Year’ and ‘Cluster of the Year’ titles, each for the fourth time at the International Medical Travel Journal (IMTJ) Medical Travel Awards 2020 in London.
“Despite the challenges faced this year, Malaysia continues to gain international recognition for our healthcare practices. Our achievements can be tied to Malaysia’s strong foundations in healthcare, formed on solid public-private partnerships and our approach in embracing digital initiatives to ensure continuity in patient care,” added Sherene Azli.