JOHOR government remains committed to strengthening the state’s health tourism sector despite facing a challenging period due to the Covid-19 pandemic over the past two years.
Mentri Besar Datuk Hasni Mohammad said the tourism sector was a major contributor to Johor’s economy, with great potential in health tourism.
“Health tourism is one of the important sectors that contribute to the state’s economy and Johor has the advantage due to its strategic position.
“Johor’s location makes the state an investment destination for private hospital owners, apart from other tourism sectors such as theme parks and internationally renowned hotel brands,” he added.
Hasni said this in his speech after conducting a working visit to Gleneagles Medini Hospital Johor in Iskandar Puteri, where he spent time visiting the hospital’s nuclear medicine unit that treats cancer patients.
He called on private hospital operators in Johor to improve the quality of their services as well as the marketing aspect in order to get international customers, especially from the region.
He also urged the Federal Government to increase its investment in the health sector to further improve the quality of public health services in the country.
“Currently, Malaysia invests around 4.3% of its gross domestic product (GDP) in the public health sector, less than other countries in Southeast Asia.
“Cambodia, for example, allocated 6.6% of their GDP for investing in their public health sector, while in Vietnam it is 5.9% and in Myanmar, 4.8% for that purpose,” he said.
During Hasni’s visit, Gleneagles Medini Hospital Johor chief executive officer Dr Kamal Amzan said the decision to introduce the nuclear medicine unit was to meet the current needs in Johor, given the high percentage of cancer patients here.
“Now, cancer patients do not have to wait long or seek treatment at hospitals in the Klang Valley.
“I am confident too that this unit will also improve health services in Johor,” he added.