MHTC redefines healthcare travel with global alliances and innovations

MHTC redefines healthcare travel with global alliances and innovations

Acting Chief Executive Officer says Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council’s new benchmarks sets up a brighter future for the healthcare travel industry.

The Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council (MHTC) is charting new territory in the global healthcare travel industry, with a focus on strategic collaborations and pioneering offerings that underscore its commitment to excellence and innovation.

“We’ve taken the right steps to expand our presence beyond our primary markets and exploring more second tier cities and niche markets to strengthen Malaysia health care's presence and brand,” said Farizal bin Jaafar, MHTC’s Acting Chief Executive Officer.

This strategic approach is aligned with MHTC’s mission to establish Malaysia as a global healthcare destination through partnerships with renowned medical providers across the world.

By expanding its presence beyond primary markets, Jaafar believes focusing on second-tier cities and niche markets are crucial to enhancing Malaysia’s healthcare brand and accessibility.

“Our ultimate aim is to present Malaysia as a compelling alternative healthcare option as we solidify Malaysia’s position as the preferred destination for healthcare travel,” he said.

As a result, MHTC has formed strategic alliances with global, regional, and local industry players, including Malaysian-based and regional airlines, tech providers for E-commerce, leading banks and insurance companies, patient referral agents, Chamber of Commerce, and international accreditation bodies.

Jaafar explained that through this collaborative approach, MHTC ensures seamless healthcare travel experiences for patients, whilst also facilitating knowledge and expertise transfer.

The healthcare travel industry experienced a robust recovery in 2022, attaining over 75% of pre-pandemic performance, reflecting a remarkable rebound.

MHTC's roadmap for the industry, spanning from 2023 to 2025, aims to expand its footprint in key markets and regions, including Indonesia, Southeast Asia, North Asia, South Asia, Indo China, and Oceania.

On top of that, Jaafar also revealed plans to venture into new cities and territories, including the Middle East and markets within the Asia Pacific region.

In response to the changing landscape brought about by the pandemic, Jaafar highlighted the shift towards a more balanced approach between preventive and curative treatments.

“The pandemic has highlighted the need for a more balanced approach between preventive and curative treatments. Consumers are now more conscious of their health and wellbeing,” he said.

To cater to these trends, MHTC has integrated preventive and curative care, offering hyper-personalised wellness packages that combine healthcare screening with tourism adventures.

Furthermore, the adoption of digital technologies, including virtual consultations, remote monitoring, and digital health records, has become pivotal for enhancing patient care.

MHTC's commitment to innovation is evident through various initiatives aimed at revolutionising healthcare travel. The Malaysia Healthcare One Stop Portal (OSP) serves as a digital gateway for seamless healthcare travel planning, offering comprehensive information to travelers.

Another notable initiative is the Malaysia Healthcare Intel (MHI), a system powered by AI that provides data-driven solutions to healthcare challenges.

The organisation has also launched the flagship Medical Tourism Hospital Program, which aims to elevate global healthcare standards through a structured acceleration plan and mentorship.

The bright outlook for the future of healthcare is evident since the reopening of Malaysia’s borders in April 2022 with healthcare traveler arrivals surging.

Citing reliable figures, Jaafar reported that the industry generated over 1.3b ringgit (US$285m) in 2022 and a revenue close to a billion ringgit (US$290m) for the first half of 2023.

The MHTC envisions generating 7 billion ringgit (US$1.5b) in revenue between 2020 and 2025, with a spillover economic impact of almost 30 billion ringgit (US$6.5b), added Jaafar.

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