Medical fees can cost an arm and leg these days. We aren’t even talking of major surgeries like heart transplant and arthroplasty (joint replacement). Dental and cosmetic procedures have been known to cause the average consumer to dig deep into his savings to pay for a missing tooth or scar unfortunately acquired in an accident.
Thankfully, healthcare can be affordable, provided that the treatment is obtained in countries where the currency is generally weaker. Despite having to travel abroad for treatment, the total cost actually comes below than what you would have to pay for at home. This is why medical tourism is booming – you’d pay a fraction of the cost of the medical treatment at home and even get to enjoy a recuperative vacation in a different part of the world.
In The Huffington Post’s Save Thousands as a Medical Tourist in These 5 Countries article dated 26th August 2016, there are five top destinations around the world for medical tourism. Malaysia is one of these countries, making the list for its high quality healthcare and affordable medical treatment. In a recent news report published by New Straits Times, chief executive officer Sherene Azli of Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council (MHTC) stated that the local medical tourism industry has recorded a 30% growth year-on-year from 860,000 in 2015 to 900,000 in 2016. The revenue from medical tourism has raked in an astonishing RM1 billion in 2016 alone. The most popular treatments sought by these visitors are cosmetic surgery, cardiology, dental procedures, oncology, orthopaedics and In vitro fertilisation (IVF).
The International Medical Travel Journal (IMTJ) has awarded Malaysia the title of “Health and Medical Tourism: Destination of the Year” for two consecutive years, 2015 and 2016. IMTJ summed up Malaysia’s medical tourism most aptly – “accessibility, affordability and quality”. Major contributors that drive medical tourism in Malaysia are state-of-the-art medical facilities and world-class expertise that can rival those even from the United States and United Kingdom. The fact that Malaysia is a multilingual country helps too – medical visitors from around the globe can communicate at ease in English, Mandarin, Tamil, Hindi and Malay.
Malaysia has another renowned award in medical tourism to her name. The Beverly Wilshire Medical Centre, one of the country’s leading healthcare facilities, was awarded the “International Cosmetic Surgery Clinic of the Year” two year consecutively in 2015 and 2016. This award-winning integrated beauty medical centre is known especially for cosmetic surgery, aesthetic medicine and healthy ageing. Beverly Wilshire Medical Centre overcame stiff competition from Singapore, Thailand and other European hospitals successfully earning its international awards. Prior to winning the prestigious award, Beverly Wilshire Medical Centre had already received numerous local accolades including the BrandLaureate SMEs BestBrands Master Brand Award in the BestBrands in Health & Beauty – Specialist Medical Centre category twice in 2013 and 2014. Thus, this contributed to an influx on international patients globally, mainly from Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, Singapore, China, Vietnam, Brunei and many others in seeking their beauty needs in Beverly Wilshire Medical Centre.
As the country’s medical facilities continue to expand and its healthcare talents develop, medical tourism will develop even further in Malaysia and is expected to achieve a revenue of RM1.3 billion in 2017.