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Published: Tuesday September 17, 2013 MYT 6:17:00 PM
Updated: Tuesday September 17, 2013 MYT 7:33:59 PM

Malaysia has potential to be regional healthcare hub, says Najib

Najib unveils the new logo of Ramsay Sime Darby Health Care at ParkCity Medical Centre. Looking on are Sime Darby Group CEO Tan Sri Bakke Salleh (left) dan Ramsay CEO Christopher Rex.

Najib unveils the new logo of Ramsay Sime Darby Health Care at ParkCity Medical Centre. Looking on are Sime Darby Group CEO Tan Sri Bakke Salleh (left) dan Ramsay CEO Christopher Rex.

KUALA LUMPUR: Healthcare service providers are urged to tap the growing health tourism sector that could turn Malaysia into a regional healthcare hub.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said this could be achieved through collaborations with their international counterparts.

"I urge healthcare service providers to leave no stone unturned in pursuing this potential.

"Becoming a regional healthcare hub ultimately creates more job opportunities and wealth which benefits the economy and country as a whole," he said when launching of the ParkCity Medical Centre and the unveiling of the Ramsay Sime Darby Healthcare (RSDHC) logo here.

He said efforts to spur development of the health tourism sector via the National Key Economic Areas and the Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council (MHTC) have shown positive results.

"Over the past three years Malaysia has seen more than 20% growth in health tourism, generating almost RM600mil in revenue last year," he added.

He said the positive growth was due to MHTC's role in providing technological platform for web-based medical and health-related information to a global audience.

"Among the countries fast becoming interested in Malaysia's medical tourism industry is Japan which registered a 20% growth," he said, adding that the Japanese who came here were under the Malaysia My Second Home programme or via word of mouth of friends and relatives.

Development of the health tourism, Najib said, would also help reverse the international brain drain of medical professionals.

"We train them in primary school and secondary school before sending them to universities overseas but they end up elsewhere," he said.

Earlier in his speech, Ramsay Health Care Ltd's chairman Paul Ramsay said Asean's collective population of 600 million offers vast opportunities in the health care industry.

He said that joint venture will see RSDHC'S tying up three of Sime Darby's hospital here with three of Ramsay's hospitals in Indonesia.

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