Malaysian Healthcare Ready To Meet West Asian Demand

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Malaysian Healthcare Ready To Meet West Asian Demand

Post by Wak on 2010-03-30, 14:20

DUBAI, March 19 (Bernama) -- Malaysia is stepping up its campaign in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and other West Asian markets where experts say demand for high quality medical care outstrips supply in spite of huge investments by governments and the private sector.

Leading Malaysian private hospitals, diagnostic clinics and wellness centres will attend the third annual Malaysia Services Exhibition (MSE) 2010 organised by the Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (Matrade) here from April 13 to 15.

"Today, we have 229 private hospitals, of which 35 are identified as promoters of health tourism in Malaysia," Malaysian ambassador to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Datuk Yahaya Abdul Jabar, said in a statement issued by Matrade.

According to him, patients could undergo treatment at a much lower cost than they would have incurred in other countries.

"For example, a cardiac bypass surgery in Malaysia would cost around US$9,000. Patients can also opt for packages which combine treatment with recuperation in any of our popular tourist destinations," the envoy said.

Healthcare delivery in the GCC alone was projected to cost US$60 billion by 2025 as affluence, lifestyles, population growth, improvements in life expectancy and rising patient expectations were already stretching existing infrastructure and budgets, according to Matrade.

GCC groups Bahrain, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the UAE and Qatar.

Matrade reckoned that Malaysia was ideally placed to emerge as the preferred destination for West Asians looking for faster and easier access to high quality medical care.

Political stability, multicultural environment, wide choice of specialty hospitals, skilled professionals, friendly staff who can speak different languages, and competitive pricing were the main factors driving health tourism in Malaysia, said the agency.

Yahaya concurred, saying that increasing air connectivity, along with the inherent strengths of Malaysia's healthcare sector, would encourage more West Asians to seek treatment in the Southeast Asian nation.

Malaysia, he said, started streamlining its health services sector for global competition and health tourism way back in the 1990s.

"MSE 2010 will provide an overview of our expertise and resources in healthcare and wellness as a cross-section of the industry will be attending the event," the ambassador said of the event that will take place at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Malaysia was now a strong competitor in the global health tourism market, with Malaysian expertise in the management and delivery of healthcare being internationally acknowledged, Matrade said.

A total of six Malaysian healthcare service providers are accredited by the Joint Commission International.

The the New Jeddah Clinic Hospital and Jeddah Clinic Hospital as well as three hospitals in Indonesia are managed by Malaysian companies.

MSE 2010 will showcase the world-class capabilities of Malaysian companies specialising in eight service clusters -- professional services, oil and gas, construction, information and communications technology, healthcare, franchising, education and specialised training, and financial services.

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