News From : DagangHalal.com (26 Mar 2010)
Malaysia is keen on promoting medical tourism in Brunei. Ooi Say Chuan of the Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council advises, “In 2008, we had 370,000 foreign medical tourists so that actually speaks a lot of the number of tourists who based their trust in Malaysian healthcare services. We want to discuss with the Bruneian government the use of Malaysian hospitals as an option. I think it is more than just the price. The patients who come want to feel at home and in Malaysia we are multilingual. Our staff speak Bahasa Malaysia, English, Chinese or Tamil so people in the region are actually quite comfortable staying in Malaysia hospitals.
Also, being an Islamic country you can have halal food. All hospitals can accept international patients but the government has taken a stand to promote 35 hospitals whom we feel will be able to meet the demands of international patients well. We want them to have accreditation under the Malaysian standard for quality in health, so when they market to our clients abroad they can be assured that these hospitals are accredited.”
The aim is to establish an understanding between the two countries similar to the one that Brunei shares with Singapore. Recently, the Singapore government made an announcement allowing Singaporeans to use their national insurance to pay for healthcare. This allows them to go to Malaysian hospitals that are referred through Singaporean facilities. It is an initiative taken by the Singaporean government.
Bruneians who go to Malaysia often seek treatment for cancer, heart bypass and orthopaedic according to hospitals. Pantai Hospitals recorded 100 Bruneian patients seeking treatment in 2009 all its 10 hospitals. TMC Fertility Centre had eight Bruneian patients and is looking to increase the figure
Gleneagles Intan Medical Center in Kuala Lumpur is among the 12 Malaysian private healthcare providers to benefit from Singapore’s Ministry of Health (MOH) move to allow its citizens to use their compulsory medical savings or MediSave, to pay for private care aboard from March. Previously, Singaporeans, permanent residents and their immediate families could only use the MediSave for emergency hospitalisation. But it can now be used for hospitalisation and day surgeries but not for outpatient treatment.
The MediSave scheme will start off with two healthcare providers, Health Management International (HMI) and Parkway Holdings.HMI has set up its local MediSave accredited referral centre at its Balestier Clinic and Health Screening Centre. It will work with its two overseas subsidiaries, Regency Specialist Hospital in Johor Bahru and Mahkota Medical Centre in Malacca. Parkway Holdings has established a MediSave accredited referral centre at East Shore Hospital. It will partner nine hospitals of Pantai Holdings in various Malaysian states, as well as the Gleneagles Intan Medical Center.
Gleneagles will tie up with FireFly and Holiday Tours and Travel, to provide further cost savings and coordinated medical travel for Singaporeans seeking treatment at the hospital. Patients interested in making use of the scheme can approach the two healthcare providers direct. Currently, Singaporeans makes up to 10 percent of health tourism for all hospitals in Malaysia.
International Medical Travel Journal