Flagship Medical Tourism Hospitals to Advance Malaysia's Healthcare Brand on a Global Scale
Championing outcome-based medical excellence, service excellence best practices and international branding
Friday, 26 May - KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA - Spearheaded by the Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council (MHTC), the Flagship Medical Tourism Hospital Programme is an integral part of the five-year Malaysia Healthcare Travel Industry Blueprint. This first-of-its-kind programme has witnessed Malaysia's top private medical establishments increasing their commitment and efforts to raise the bar of excellence in delivering exceptional end-to-end services to their patients, all with the goal of reinforcing Malaysia's position as a safe and trusted destination for top-notch healthcare services, and elevating excellence in medical and service offerings.
This is in alignment with the Malaysian Ministry of Health’s efforts to strengthen the nation’s healthcare ecosystem. “I trust that the Flagship programme will promote innovation and excellence in medical services while bringing us closer to achieving a more resilient healthcare system for the country and establishing Malaysia Healthcare as a world-renowned and credible global healthcare brand,” added Dr. Zaliha Mustafa, Malaysia’s Minister of Health.
Four shortlisted finalist Flagship Medical Tourism Hospitals were announced in April, namely the National Heart Institute (Institut Jantung Negara or IJN), Island Hospital, Mahkota Medical Centre and Subang Jaya Medical Centre.
According to Datuk Dr. Aizai Azan bin Abdul Rahim, the Chief Executive Office of IJN, the Flagship Medical Tourism Hospital Programme provides a platform to support the national agenda of making Malaysia a top healthcare travel destination. “Apart from maintaining quality healthcare, we aspire to bring in the latest technologies and techniques for the benefit of the public. These are key in ensuring that we are at the top of clinical excellence and people’s minds, so they are assured of receiving the best heart care,” he said.
Mr. Mark Wee, the Chief Executive Officer of Island Hospital, found that the Flagship Medical Tourism Hospital Programme aligned well with the hospital’s vision for growth. “We conceived the Island Medical City in 2016 as our commitment towards taking medical tourism in Malaysia to the next level. This ambitious project marks the evolution of Island Hospital into a leading regional quaternary healthcare provider offering the Best in Class to our patients. This vision dovetails perfectly with the goals of the Flagship Medical Tourism Hospital Programme. With the opening of our new facilities, the Peel Wing in 2022, we are poised to achieve our goal of healthcare travellers making up to 80% of our revenue in the next few years,” he shared.
Mr. Stanley Lam, the Chief Executive Officer of Mahkota Medical Centre, elaborated on the hospital’s commitment to reinforcing the country’s healthcare ecosystem. “We are one of the largest and most comprehensive hospitals in Southern Peninsular Malaysia. The investments we will be making with this programme will further reinforce Mahkota Medical Centre as one of the most reputable referral hospitals across South East Asia, and better serve local and regional communities. Our expansion plans include a beautiful seafront location, located in the heart of Melaka, a UNESCO world heritage site,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mr. Bryan Lin, the Chief Executive Officer of Subang Jaya Medical Centre, expressed his anticipation at contributing to the growth of the country’s healthcare travel industry. “We see the Flagship Medical Tourism Hospital Programme as an opportunity for collaboration and growth, not just for Subang Jaya Medical Centre but also for Malaysian healthcare globally. Through this Programme, we hope to contribute strongly to growing the healthcare travel market by at least 30% yearly. We are excited to take our capabilities to the next level to become a premier healthcare travel destination of choice,” he said.
The shortlisted finalists were carefully selected through an extensive and rigorous qualifying process in 2022 that involved data analysis and on-site assessments by international bodies Joint Commission International (JCI) and IQVIA, and have advanced to the next phase of the programme, the Acceleration Period, which is from 2023 to 2025. During this time, they will be granted several incentives, including fast-track facilitation to support the development milestones, flexibility of testing concepts with healthcare technology sandbox, access to programme mentors/advisors that will assist with programme development, progress assessment and monitoring, and a special Investment Tax Allowance (ITA) for qualifying capital expenditures.
Malaysia, a popular global destination for healthcare travellers, has won numerous awards, including the coveted “Destination of the Year” title by UK-based healthcare travel authority International Medical Travel Journal (IMTJ) numerous times in recent years. The country attracted 1.22 million healthcare travellers in 2019. With countries across the world moving towards endemicity, this figure is anticipated to increase.
With Malaysia Healthcare enroute to providing the “Best Healthcare Travel Experience by 2025”, it is imperative for the country to fortify its foothold on the global frontier. “The Flagship Medical Tourism Hospital Programme acts as a catalyst in expediting global recognition of Malaysia’s healthcare, empowering our private healthcare institutions to identify gaps and areas for improvement along the end-to-end patient journey and address them, guided by international standards and benchmarks,” said Farizal bin Jaafar, Acting Chief Executive Officer of MHTC.