With a target of attracting 1.5 million patients in 2020, Malaysian government launched 'Malaysia Year of Healthcare Travel 2020 or MyHT2020' in tandem with the country's tourism campaign 'Visit Malaysia 2020 (VM2020)'.
Last year (2018) the number of international healthcare travellers visiting Malaysia was 1.2 million. The government intends to increase the amount of revenue from Malaysia Healthcare to RM 8.0 billion (US$ 1.94 billion) this year from last year's RM 6.4 billion (US$ 1.32 billion).
The healthcare travel industry that has been growing annually with a Cumulative Aggregated Growth Rate (CAGR) of 17 per cent earned RM 1.5 billion (US$ 0.36 billion) in hospital receipt last year.
Deputy Finance Minister Amiruddin Hamzah inaugurated Malaysia Year of Healthcare Travel 2020 or MyHT2020 at a function organised on October 31 at a city hotel in Kuala Lumpur. Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council (MHTC) organised the programmme.
MHTC is a government agency under finance ministry entrusted with the responsibility of curating the country's healthcare travel scene.
MyHT2020 celebrates the importance of physical and mental well-being by inviting everyone to seek health and wellness treatments, whilst enjoying Malaysia's tourism attractions.
"Malaysia is on a mission to elevate the country to new heights of which all of us can be proud - a mission that I strongly believe is not an impossible one to achieve," Mr Amiruddin said.
With MyHT2020 in tow, we are progressing towards a better Malaysia through the Shared Prosperity Vision 2030, a national agenda launched by Yang Amat Berhormat Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, the prime minister of Malaysia, he added.
"This vision will empower our nation to generate sustainable economic growth which in turn will elevate us to a high-income economy and increase the people's purchasing power. Today, with MyHT2020, we take another step towards achieving Shared Prosperity Vision 2030 in three specific ways," Mr Amiruddin said.
He said that Malaysia is looking at a more resilient and robust economic growth, one that transcends revenue growth in the medical sector alone. In terms of revenue, Malaysia Healthcare's CAGR has been an encouraging 17 per cent from 2015 to 2018. In 2018, revenue receipts reached RM1.5 billion (US$ 0.36 billion) from an excess of 1.2 million healthcare traveller arrivals, contributing RM6.4 billion (US$ 1.32 billion) to the GDP (gross domestic product).
"When we talk about economic impact, we are talking about the spill-over which positively affects other industries," said the deputy minister.
This economic impact accounts for expenditure such as transportation, accommodation and tourism activities which include shopping and many other activities, he added.
"We see how the healthcare travel industry is one for collective economic growth, as Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in tourism, transportation and other niche services can benefit this single industry," Mr Amiruddin said.
MHTC Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Sherene Azli made a presentation on the MyHT 2020.
She said that Malaysia-a 'Healthcare Marvel'-has become a successful world-class healthcare travel destination within 10 years time.
The country has been internationally recognised as the "Best country in the world for healthcare" three years in a row by US-based International Living, she added.
It has been recognised as "Destination of the year" for healthcare travel by UK-based International Medical Travel Journal from 2015 to 2017 based on these criteria-quality, accessibility and affordability.
With MyHT2020 in tow, Malaysia Healthcare targets to contribute RM 8 - 10 billion as total economic impact in 2020. The MyHT2020 mascot, hornbill cum doctor named Dr Enggang, was unveiled as a representation of warm Malaysian hospitality, a significant element in Malaysia Healthcare's end-to-end healthcare journey experience.
A memorandum of understanding (MoU) signing ceremony between Malaysia Airlines (MAS) and MHTC took place during the MyHT2020 launch. MAS has been an instrumental player in the end-to-end patient journey experience; this MoU will strengthen Malaysia's healthcare travel industry service offerings.
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