Healing the World

Published at : CNN
Published on: 6 Jul 2021

With world-class quality healthcare, ease of accessibility, and competitive affordability, Malaysia ranks high as a safe and trusted healthcare travel destination.

While most people would prefer to receive medical care closer to home, limited local options or lack of specialized care can leave patients with little choice but to seek treatment abroad. For some, medical travel may give access to a wider array of specialists than in their home country. For others, it may mean more affordable treatment without compromising on quality.

At the same time, for these healthcare travelers, finding a trusted destination for treatment can feel daunting. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed at the complexity of finding the right country and medical facility and navigating the complexities of an unfamiliar system.

Over the years, Malaysia has become an attractive option for many healthcare travelers and emerged as one of Asia’s top medical destinations due to its advances in fields such as fertility, cardiology, and oncology. Accessing Malaysia’s award-winning healthcare system—which offers world-class specialists and facilities at a fraction of the cost in the West—facilitated by the Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council (MHTC), becomes a hassle-free experience for overseas patients.

Destination Malaysia
When they choose Malaysia, foreign patients never have to struggle alone to find the right doctor or hospital. As a one-stop centre, the MHTC provides end-to-end services for healthcare travelers.

The Malaysia Healthcare Medical Concierge and Lounges (MCL) in the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (KLIA2), and Penang International Airport serve as the first points of contact for many travelers on their healthcare journey in Malaysia. The MHTC can connect patients with 74 private hospitals in the country and an army of specialists—many of whom have trained in the US, the UK, Australia, and Malaysia—by assisting with inquiries, consultations, and follow-up arrangements. The MHTC can also help meet the individual needs of each healthcare traveler, from multilingual medical services to dietary requirements, and same-gender caregivers.

Malaysia’s continued investment in quality healthcare and customer service received global recognition recently. It won the coveted accolades of “Health and Medical Tourism: Destination of the Year” and “Health and Medical Tourism: Cluster of the Year” at the International Medical Travel Journal Medical Travel Awards in 2020.

“To maintain continuity of care, especially for those who require timely treatments such as cardiac and cancer patients, Malaysia was among the first countries globally to implement a dedicated medical travel bubble in July last year. Those keen to seek treatment in here must secure appointments with MHTC member hospitals before coming and need to adhere to the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) throughout their stay1.” says Mohd Daud Mohd Arif, CEO, Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council.

"We have worked closely with the Ministry of Health and the Malaysian National Security Council to produce the current SOPs ensuring the safety of Malaysians and healthcare travelers are still our topmost priority."

Mohd Daud Mohd Arif, CEO, Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council

The Digital Frontier
This year, Malaysia has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with digital healthcare platform, DoctorOnCall (DoC),that provides MHTC’s member hospitals access to the platform’s digital healthcare capabilities to provide telehealth services, allowing healthcare travelers to continue consultations with doctors in Malaysia in light of travel restrictions.

“We are preparing for a healthy industry rebound and one of the main measures to stay ahead of the curve and ensure continuity of care is via the adoption of telehealth by member hospitals,” reveals Mohd Daud.

"This builds trust and confidence in the Malaysia healthcare brand as international patients continue to receive on-demand care and consultation here in what we call the World’s Healthcare Marvel."

Mohd Daud Mohd Arif, CEO, Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council

While 60% of Malaysia’s foreign patients come from neighboring Indonesia, the country’s multilingual healthcare specialists also treat medical travelers from Singapore, China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Australia, the Middle East, and even the US and Europe.

A Seamless Experience
While leisure travel to Malaysia is currently restricted due to the pandemic, medical travel has been permitted since July 2020 under stringent guidelines, with provisions for patient travel, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing for Covid-19, and a mandatory 14-day isolation period2.

The patient journey typically begins with a phone call or online consultation via MHTC’s communication channels. Once a foreign patient is matched with the right doctor and hospital, MHTC can help them apply for a medical visa, organize their isolation and hospital stay, and arrange their transportation. Patients are permitted to have one companion, while pediatric patients are allowed to have two companions to travel with them to Malaysia during their treatment.

“Services here are affordable, seamless, and convenient from arrival till departure. It is a hassle-free experience for travelers. Patients can expect a pleasant, safe, and comfortable experience through our warm hospitality, superior customer service, and friendly environment,” says Mohd Daud.

"As an agency tasked to facilitate the healthcare travel industry of Malaysia, we will continue our work to revive the sector by building confidence in Malaysia as a safe and trusted healthcare travel destination."

Mohd Daud Mohd Arif, CEO, Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council

Read full article here: CNN