Malaysia has led by example in the health industry, with it claiming three of ten accolades at this year’s MTJ Medical Travel Awards, whilst also moving into the top five countries for health care around the world. The Asian federation is hoping to emerge as a ‘fully developed’ country in 2020 and see their health care system as a pivotal statement of both their achievements and potential.
Since the country’s independence over 50 years ago, Malaysia has undergone radical transformations and it was in 1991 that former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir created the ‘Vision 2020’, as is rearticulated by the current Prime Minister’s Office: “By the year 2020, Malaysia can be a united nation, with a confident Malaysian society, infused by strong moral and ethical values, living in a society that is democratic, liberal and tolerant, caring, economically just and equitable, progressive and prosperous, and in full possession of an economy that is competitive, dynamic, robust and resilient.”
Now, with six years to go, it is the country’s efficient and widespread health system that displays their incredible development. The large span of private hospitals have been gaining recognition for their high quality services across a large number of medical fields including cardiology, oncology, neurology, ophthalmology, aesthetic surgery, bariatric surgery, robotic surgery orthopaedics, dental implants, fertility treatment and aesthetics procedures. Malaysia has become a leading choice for foreign patients seeking health care treatment abroad.
The MTJ Medical Travel Awards credited Malaysia for International Hospital, International Dental Clinic and International Infertility Clinic of the year. The awards celebrate the very best in improvement, innovation and excellence in the medical travel, medical tourism and health tourism industry. Professionalism in the field, percentage of highly qualified doctors, state-of-the-art equipment and satisfaction ratings from visiting patients, were all calculated in each travel award category.
Dr Mary Wong Lai Lin, CEO of Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council (MHTC) told The Gulf Today of her privilege in being part of the winning team, she said: “We were very honoured to have won three awards, as out of 253 hospitals under MHTC, around 75 had applied in different categories of IMTH Awards. The awards have further strengthened our position as a leading medical tourism destination on the global map.”
The top 24 health care providers in the world were announced a short time later. Malaysia came in third place scoring 95 points out of a possible 100, behind Uruguay and victors France. Malaysia is specifically renowned for their cheap medical services. A regular doctor’s visit costs (US)$16 and a dental check-up costs (US)$9, although at this time foreigners are unable to access the public healthcare system.
Speaking on the topic of asian medical tourism, Dr Mary Wong Lai Lin continued about the development of Malaysia’s health care: “The first thing that people recognize is affordability. In Malaysia, the costs for medical care are extremely competitive; next, it is important to identify the emphasis healthcare professionals place on the doctor-patient relationship, which is considerable in Malaysia; finally, our multi-cultural society. Malaysia is a bit of a melting pot, with numerous languages spoken, and as a result, visitors from just about anywhere feel comfortable here. This is particularly important – feeling comfortable, that is – for medical tourists who are here for some very serious business.”
Where and what is the best medical care you have received?