'Medical tourists' bring in steady profit to Malaysia

'Medical tourists' bring in steady profit to Malaysia

The revenue from medical tourism has been steadily increasing for the past three years, recording RM351.1mil (S$136.4) between January and June this year, said Deputy Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Hilmi Yahaya.

"The ministry expects this sum to double by the end of this year to RM630mil," he said in reply to Datuk Dr Nik Mazian Nik Mohamad (PAS - Pasir Puteh).

"The amount of revenue garnered from medical tourism increased by 35 per cent from RM378.7mil in 2010 to RM511.2mil in 2011. Last year, we recorded RM594mil in revenue, which is a 16 per cent increase from 2011."

Among the top 10 hospitals to receive the most number of "medical tourists" last year were the Island Hospital, Penang Adventist, Lam Wah Ee Hospital, Prince Court Medical Centre and Gleneagles Kuala Lumpur.

As of June, 401,262 people were recorded to have sought medical treatment in Malaysia.

Meanwhile, Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz said that as of August this year, Chinese nationals made up the most number of participants in the Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) programme since its launch in 2002.

"There were 4,187 Chinese tourists in the programme, followed by Japan (2,880), Bangladesh (2,603), Britain (2,016) and Iran (1,266)," he said in a written reply to Lim Lip Eng (DAP - Segambut).

Mohamed Nazri said the ministry had no plans to change the criteria for foreigners who wanted to sign up for the programme, adding that 22,320 foreigners from 122 countries had received approvals for long-term stay in Malaysia since its launch.

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