PENANG is short of hospital beds during the peak season due to its status as a medical hub, Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said.
He said the number of healthcare travel-lers in the state had risen from 297,850 in 2012 to 351,673 in 2013.
This brought in a total revenue of RM265mil and RM295mil respectively, he added.
“Today, Penang has about 3,000 private hospital beds which are often filled to full capacity due to the big number of health-care travellers especially Indonesians,” he said.
“Malaysia’s revenue from medical tourism also recorded a 16% increase from 2012 to 2013 with RM594mil to RM690mil respectively.
“The same goes for the number of medical tourism patients in Malaysia which saw an increase from 671,727 people in 2012 to 770,134 in 2013.
“The state and federal governments encourage all hospitals to develop themselves into those possessing the highest standard of healthcare,” he said during the launching of the Cardiac Rehabilitation Ward at Pantai Hospital Penang.
Pantai Holdings Berhad (PHB) chairman Datuk Khairil Anuar Abdullah said the new ward, equipped with telemetry moni-toring devices linked to the Coronary Care Unit, would provide a comprehensive one-stop care centre for patients with car-diac conditions.
The cost of the Cardiac Rehabilitation Ward is RM15mil including its equip-ment. PHB is part of Parkway Pantai Limited, the largest operating subsidiary of IHH Healthcare Berhad.