tourism (also called medical travel, health tourism or global healthcare)
is a term initially coined by travel agencies and the mass media to
describe the rapidly-growing practice of travelling across international
borders to obtain health care. It also refers pejoratively to the practice
of healthcare providers travelling internationally to deliver healthcare.
Services typically sought by travelers include elective procedures as well
as complex specialized surgeries such as joint replacement (knee/hip),
cardiac surgery, dental surgery, and cosmetic surgeries. However,
virtually every type of health care, including psychiatry, alternative
treatments, convalescent care and even burial services are available.
Over 50 countries have identified medical tourism as a national industry.
However, accreditation and other measures of quality vary widely across
the globe, and some destinations may become hazardous or even dangerous
for medical tourists.
Tourism in Malaysia
focusing on the health tourism industry. It is a fast-growing sector due
to the affordability of medical treatments coupled with the large number
of world-leading medical facilities established in Malaysia.
In support of this sector, foreign visitors are welcome to seek healthcare
services in Malaysia under the Health Tourism programme.
expertise in Malaysia ranks among the best in the world and most private
hospitals in the country have internationally recognized quality and
standards. These include the MS ISO9002 or accreditation by the Malaysian
Medical Society for Quality of Health (MSQH). All private medical centres
must be approved and licensed by the Ministry of Health.
Malaysia growing reputation as a preferred health and medical destination
sees it welcoming visitors from around the world seeking remedies for a
range of medical needs. These include both critical health services as
well as cosmetic and remedial care.
Medical charges and hospitalization costs here are very competitive
compared to those in many developed countries, and expertise ranks among
the best in the world. For example, a normal cardiac bypass surgery (CABG)
would cost in the region of USD6,000 - USD7,000.
There is a plethora of state-of-the-art, well-equipped and well-staffed
private medical centres. All of which have extensive diagnostic and
therapeutic resources such as endoscopic suites, haemodialysis centres,
cardiac catheterisation and magnetic resonance imaging facilities among
others. Medical specialists are also highly qualified professionals with
extensive international qualifications and are supported by well-trained
Most private hospitals in Malaysia offer accommodation ranging from
comfortable to luxurious, including private rooms and suites. Meals are
included and rates vary depending on the level of service required as some
establishment offer personal butlers or full-time private nurses. Sleep-in
facilities can also be easily provided for travelling companions and
again, given Malaysia relative low costs yet high standards of living,
long term stays are an acceptable option.
But perhaps the best thing about undergoing medical attention in Malaysia,
especially for less critical care cases, must be the recuperation period.
Patients have the opportunity to enjoy sightseeing and other tourist
activities during their recuperation and convalescence. Visits can be made
to Malaysia beautiful beaches especially since some medical centers are
located at popular beach or tourist locations. Indeed, for most patients,
taking in a bit of sightseeing or going on a shopping spree could
stimulate a quicker recovery!
Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council (MHTC) was established under the
Ministry of Health Malaysia (MOH) on 3rd July 2009 upon the approval of
the Malaysian Cabinet. MHTC has been set up as the primary agency to
develop and promote the healthcare travel industry and to position
Malaysia as the healthcare destination of choice in the region.