Materia Medica Malaysiana

July 7, 2007

Foreign patients bring in RM204m

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 9:36 am

NST: GEORGE TOWN: Malaysia raked in RM203.6 million in hospital receipts last year from nearly 300,000 foreign medical patients.
Health Ministry parliamentary secretary Datuk Lee Kah Choon said Penang’s portion of the takings amounted to RM129.9 million or 63.83 per cent of the total.
The other cities involved were Kuala Lumpur, Malacca and Johor Baru.
“We are expecting double-digit growth for hospital receipt figures this year,” he said after witnessing the signing of a clinical research collaboration between YSP Industries Sdn Bhd and Penang-based Infor Kinetics Sdn Bhd here.
Among the types of treatment sought are for heart ailments, cosmetic surgery, and wellness treatment at spas.
“Patients include those from Indonesia and Singapore. The government is studying ways to make medical tourism more attractive to invest in.”
Healthcare tourism in Malaysia took off in an aggressive manner in 2002 when Tourism Malaysia began promoting it overseas.
Lee said private hospital operators had begun talks with the government over tax breaks for the industry.
“This include tax-relief on the purchase of medical equipment or capital allowance on costs for new buildings,” he said, adding that the proposed breaks were to reduce the “burden” on these institutions to enable them to continuously invest in upgrading their services.
“The Health Ministry supports this request since it will facilitate more investments in health care in the country and indirectly also boost our medical tourism efforts.”
Lee said talks were ongoing between the operators, his ministry and the Finance and International Trade and Industry ministries on the matter.

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