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Malaysia’s medical tourism drops by 75% due to COVID-19


KUALA LUMPUR 6 July - Malaysia medical tourism drops by 75% compared to last year due to the pandemic outbreak COVID-19. 

The percentage was confirmed by Chief Executive Officer of Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council, Sherene Azli in a video interview with CNBC. 

CNBC interview

She mentioned Malaysia last year set the target of RM2 billion for hospital revenue in medical travel and allocated the amount of RM10 billion for the economic sector as far as the impact is concerned.

However, with the COVID-19 hitting the world, the government is looking at about RM500 million for the hospital revenue and RM2 billion in terms of the economic contribution to the country. 

“But what we are doing now, we are getting ourselves more into the engagement with the stakeholders, changing our strategies.

“We are actually adopting more digital technology and doing more tele-consulting  to make sure our patients are still getting the continuity of treatments despite all the challenges,” said her.

The government is taking measures to regenerate the country's medical tourism by reopening the border where the main medical travelers are from Indonesia, China and other Southeast Asia countries. 

“When we look into the region, technically Indonesia is not in the green zone yet. Malaysia however is considering allowing Chinese patients coming in by exercising the medical ‘travel bubble’. 

“Patients that have certain criteria entering our standard operation procedure (SOP), we allow (them) to get treatment,” added her. 

Medical travelers are required to do the pre-departure COVID-19 test, and be tested again when arriving in Malaysia. 

They also have to go through certain quarantine and isolation procedure in the hospitals to make sure the Malaysians' concerns are protected.  -