PETALING JAYA: It was a double win for The Star when it won two awards at the Medical Travel Media Awards (MTMA) 2020.
The Star’s senior writer Yuen Meikeng, 35, and acting editor (education) Christina Chin, 42, were jointly named Medical Travel Journalist of the Year (Malaysia) in the event, hosted by the Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council (MHTC).
They also won the Best Online Report of the Year (Malaysia) for their article titled “Big plans for healthcare travel”.
In their report, Chin and Yuen highlighted Malaysia’s plans to be a top destination for healthcare travellers worldwide, particularly as a hub for fertility treatment, cardiology and oncology services.
The story also came with supporting articles, titled “Patient testimonials should be allowed in promoting medical tourism” and “Healthcare promo to go on”.
Each category came with a RM8,000 cash prize and trophy.
Chin and Yuen’s articles were also nominated for Best Print Report (Malaysia), in the virtual awards presentation ceremony, with the event shown over Facebook Live on Thursday night (Dec 10).
Thanking the MHTC, Chin said the win recognises not just the Star Media Group, but more importantly, the potential of the country's healthcare tourism sector.
"Much has been written about our world-class healthcare providers and the tourism industry respectively.
“But more needs to be done to highlight what Malaysia can offer healthcare travellers, ” she said.
Yuen said there was a need for the media to explore more issues involving the medical tourism industry, especially in the wake of Covid-19.
MHTC chief executive officer Sherene Azli said this year’s awards celebrate the contribution of the media as frontliners in their own right.
“The media are a vital source of information and have never ceased to serve the public by educating and keeping us informed during these times of crisis.
“Through all these, they have even continued to be advocates for Malaysian healthcare as a platform to showcase our achievements in the global medical travel landscape, ” she added.
The MTMA secretariat had received up to 400 submissions from 11 countries in addition to Malaysia, such as Indonesia, Brunei, Cambodia, Bangladesh, South Korea, China, Vietnam, India, the UK, Croatia, and Tunisia.
The number of submissions marked an increase of 60% from last year.