Generally India has been the first destination for Bangladeshis seeking treatment due to many factors including cost, quality, facilities, doctors, culture etc. It is also statistically true that a large number of patients are going from Bangladesh to other countries. However, their experience is not always good. It is reported that in many cases, the quality of healthcare is declining and patients are suffering due to lack of proper attention, facilities and transparency in terms of billings.
In this context, Malaysia is emerging as a suitable option. Malaysia is fast becoming a strong competitor in the global health and medical tourism sector. Given the potential of health tourism as a foreign exchange earner, the Malaysian government has taken a series of proactive measures to enhance Malaysia as a preferred health tourism destination.
According to official policy, Health tourism in Malaysia consists of two main categories which are medical tourism and wellness programme. Patients can opt for medical treatments in one of Malaysia's internationally recognised hospitals, and stay on during the convalescence or recovery period. Or they can come for a holiday by exploring the various forms of wellness programmes that are available in Malaysia.
Global medical newspapers describe competitive medical fees and modern medical facilities are two vital factors that make Malaysia a popular destination among health tourists. Patients can undergo treatment and recuperate in any part of the country for much less than what it would cost them for a treatment in other countries. For example, a normal cardiac bypass surgery (CABG) in Malaysia would cost only between US$6,000 and US$7,000 equal to Bangladeshi Taka 5 to 6 lakhs.
Malaysia offers a wide choice of state-of-the-art private medical centres boasting an impressive array of sophisticated diagnosis, therapeutic and in-patient facilities. These establishments are well-equipped and staffed to ensure the highest level of professionalism, safety and care to patients. Most private medical centres have certifications for internationally recognized quality standards such as MS ISO 9002 or have been given accreditation by the Malaysian Society for Quality of Health.
Besides, Malaysia is not too much in terms of medical expenses. Moreover, due to the many places of Muslim culture, modern facilities and trave destinations, Malaysia may be a suitable place for complex patients or health check-ups purposes.
However, not many people in Bangladesh know about Malaysian medical tourism due to lack of information and publicity. In fact, more than 500,000 people travel out to India, Thailand and Singapore for treatment due to unavailable service, misdiagnosis and improper treatments in Bangladesh. Thus, it is important for Bangladeshi patients to consider Malaysia as an lucrative option of seeking medical treatment.
When contacted, Ms Nurul Hasyikin binti Adanan of Sunway Medical Centre (SMC), the largest private hospital in Malaysia told barta24.com, with 29 centres of excellence, 617 licensed beds, more than 60 specialities & sub-specialties and more than 200 specialists, SMC provides a comprehensive range of medical and surgical solutions. As a quaternary hospital, SMC specialises in the areas of cancer, blood diseases, nuclear medicine, orthopaedic, robotic assisted surgeries, gastroenterology, neurology, neurosurgery, cardiac and vascular, women and children. Kidney transplant, paediatric cardiac surgery, bone marrow transplant are also available in Sunway Medical Centre, Sunway City. We also equipped with the latest technologies like Radixact-X9 Tomotherapy, Mako SmartRobotics, Leksell Gamma Knife Icon, Varian TrueBeam Stx, Philips Biplane Azurion 7 B12 (Angiographic System), Philips Biplane Azurion 7 I-Q Clarity B20/15 (Angiography System), 4-D PET/CT Scanner, da Vinci® Si Surgical System (3rd generation), da Vinci® Xi Surgical System (4th generation), Intraoperative Radiation Therapy (IORT), SPECT-CT Scan, Brachytherapy and many others.
Sunway Medical Centre also is the biggest private hospital in Malaysia having sub-specialties like Paediatric in Dermatology, Neurology, Hematology & Oncology, ENT, Respiratory, Orthopaedic, Gastroenterology etc., she added.
Moreover, Malaysia offers a wide choice of state-of-the-art private medical centres boasting an impressive array of sophisticated diagnosis, therapeutic and in-patient facilities. These establishments are well-equipped and staffed to ensure the highest level of professionalism, safety and care to patients. Most private medical centres have certifications for internationally recognized quality standards such as MS ISO 9002 or have been given accreditation by the Malaysian Society for Quality of Health.
Most private medical centres in Malaysia also offer comfortable accommodation ranging from private rooms to suites for single occupancy or more. Room charges, inclusive of meals, vary at medical centres but are attractively priced. Some medical centres even provide highly qualified and trained private nurses and personal butlers at a reasonable cost.
In brief, factors that contribute to making Malaysia a centre of medical excellence in the region are listed below:
- a) Safe and politically stable country
- b) Wide choice of world class infrastructure facilities e.g. National Heart Institute and Tun Hussein Onn National Eye Hospital, Sunway Medical Center (SMC).
- c) Competitive and affordable pricing and favourable exchange rate
- d) Highly qualified, experienced and skilled consultants with internationally recognised qualifications
- e) Tolerant multi-cultural and multi-racial Malaysian society accommodates patients of different cultures and religions
- f) Communication is easy - English speaking medical staffs
- g) State-of-the-art technology, such as MRI, 64-Slice CT Scan, PET Scanner for early detection of cancer and other diseases, cyberknife which is able to radiate tumours without damaging adjacent vital structures
- h) Quality and safety system in place, such as ISO and accreditation by the Malaysian Society for Quality in Health (MSQH)
- i) Recently, the Ministry of Health, Malaysia has set up a Corporate Policy and Health Industry Division to promote medical tourism and related healthcare products including traditional medicine, etc. As such, the Ministry's promotional efforts are more focused with the support from relevant government agencies and private sector
- j) Attractive and affordable packages during recuperation period.
To ease entry formalities for patients, the Immigration Department of Malaysia has implements the Green Lane System at main entry points which expedites custom clearance for medical travellers. Accompanying family members or friends of the patient can take advantage of their visit to sample Malaysia's various interesting tourist attractions. Cities like Kuala Lumpur and Penang offer a truly comprehensive range of both health and tourism services, all within easy reach.
Interested person can find more information in Sunway Medical Centre (SMC) website at
or write to ([email protected]).