NUSAJAYA: The medical tourism industry in Johor has the potential to grow even more, said state Domestic Trade, Consumerism and Tourism exco Datuk Tee Siew Kiong.
He said the number of tourists seeking medical care in Johor had been on a steady rise as seen from 27,500 arrivals in 2012, 31,000 in 2013 and 33,700 in 2014.
Tee added that the records were based on the number of patients, and did not include chaperones, family members and visiting friends and relatives.
Tee said the Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council had pinpointed that the majority of the medical tourists here were from Indonesia (66.1%) and Singapore (7.5%).
“This is probably due to the similarity in culture and language between the countries, and lower costs, compared to Singapore,” he said in his reply to Ayub Jamil (BN-Rengit) and K. Raven Kumar (BN-Tenggaroh).
Tee said Johor was accessible due to the number of direct flights from major Indonesian cities as well as the 11 jetties between both locations.
He added that Singaporeans were able to use their Central Provident Fund savings and insurance at medical facilities, thus contributing to the rise in medical tourism.
Tee also said meetings with medical tourism product owners and tourism industry players had been held to chart the direction of the sector so as to take medical tourism in the state to the next level.
Separately, state Education, Information Entrepreneurial Development and Co-operative Committee chairman Md Jais Sarday reported that a study showed that 97.87% of its respondents supported caning for students.
He said the study, conducted by the state education department on March 24, saw people from various backgrounds supporting caning while 2.13% disagreed.
Md Jais was replying to Dr Zaini Abu Bakar (BN-Nusajaya), who suggested a review of caning to tackle discipline problems in schools.
“Caning is for the purpose of educating, not to abuse or hurt the students,” said Md Jais, who added that the Education Ministry was reviewing the Education Rules and Regulations (School Discipline) 1959 on caning.