Health Tourism Growth To Attract More Foreigners Seeking Treatment In Malaysia

Healthcare Tourism Congress to highlights the growth of medical tourism industry in Asia

Online PR News – 30-March-2010 – – KUALA LUMPUR: The rising cost of medical care in developed countries and the popularity of health tourism, especially in Malaysia, will be among the focus areas of the Healthcare Tourism Congress 2010 here on April 12-13.

It will be officiated by Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai.

The global competition in the healthcare industry is providing increasing opportunities for patients to travel abroad to seek treatment.

Foreigners visiting Malaysia for medical treatment has increased tremendously since 2003, reaching 341,288 patients in 2007.

The revenue generated from medical tourism was about RM222.25 million for the first nine months of 2008 from more than 282,000 foreigners.

This was an increase of 16 per cent compared to 2007, according to statistics from Frost & Sullivan.

The two-day event with the theme, Malaysia: World Top Notch Care Provider, at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC) is in line with the call by Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak to tap into the health and medical tourism industry.

The Congress will feature prominent speakers from the industry, including Josef Woodman, author of the book Patients Beyond Borders, and President of Healthy Travel Media Company.

Woodman has toured more than 140 medical facilities in 22 countries and estimates that 240,000 Americans traveled for medical procedures in 2009, and the numbers are growing, with many heading to Malaysia.

"For those who are comfortable with the idea of medical tourism, the savings are attractive.

"The average cost of an angioplasty costing about US$6,000 in Malaysia will cost US$11,000 in Singapore and US$57,000 in the United States. For the 47 million uninsured people in the United States, these prices matter," he said in a statement.

Woodman and his team have also been researching contemporary medical tourism in the countries toured.

A noted consumer advocate for the globalisation of healthcare, Woodman has lectured at the Harvard Medical School and the University of California-Los Angeles' School of Public Health.

He has also hosted more than a dozen seminars and workshops around the world on the topics of medical tourism and health travel.

The conference topics meanwhile, include Healthcare Tourism Marketing, Healthcare Tourism Management, Traditional and Complementary Medicine and Wellness as well as Strategic Partnership.

Held together with an exhibition that is open to the public, the Congress is expected to attract medical experts, healthcare developers, pharmaceutical companies, insurance industry, travel agencies, government agencies, medical tourism facilitators as well as healthcare/medical associations.

Healthcare packages will also be offered to visitors who sign up for promotional offers.

Other key speakers are, Suresh Ponnudurai (Founder & Chief Executive Officer of Malaysia Healthcare), Amir Firdaus Abd (Chief Executive Officer, Gleneagles Hospital in Kuala Lumpur), Stuart D Rowley (Chief Executive Officer & Board Director, Prince Court Medical Centre) and Raymond Chong Chin Wah (Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer of Samitivej Group of Hospitals in Thailand).

Also making presentations are Dr Milton Lum Siew Wah (Director of Medical Defence Malaysia Berhad), Dr Ramli Abd Ghani (Director, Traditional & Complementary Medicine Division, Ministry of Health Malaysia), Catherine-Brillantes Turvill (Founder & President of the Spa Association of Philippines).

The Congress is being organised by the Knowledge Group of Companies.