Melaka govt hopes to set up healthcare cooperative to boost medical tourism

MELAKA: The Melaka government welcomes a formation of a healthcare cooperative in the state to boost the growth of medical tourism and to create an affordable healthcare system, says an executive councillor.

State entrepreneur, cooperative development and consumer affairs committee chairman Allex Seah Shoo Chin said he was willing to discuss the setting up of a cooperative with interested parties with an aim to provide high-quality and equitable healthcare to locals as well as tourists.

"I would advocate for health insurance coverage at low cost once there is a taker for the health-based cooperative.

"The essence of this cooperative is to integrate the healthcare delivery system to reach the deserving groups by synergising with various private hospitals and clinics in the state," he said in an interview here on Thursday (Aug 10).

Seah said the other objective is also to look into the development of medical tourism in the state as well as to provide reasonable medical fees.

He said the cooperative must be led by those in the medical field and able to deliver high-value healthcare.

Seah said the proposed cooperative would also boost medical tourism in the state.

"The state's healthcare industry is also a key economic driver for the state with the potential of luring more private hospitals to establish their operations in the state.

"Hence, providing affordable medical coverage, especially to travellers on a budget, is seen as a positive move for the local tourism growth," he said.

Seah said the cooperative can also be designed to benefit daily wage earners and gig economy workers to receive medical treatments at private clinics here.

He said this group of workers is also vulnerable and needs to be better protected in terms of medical care.

“The welfare of the self-employed is also our concern and we hope this aspect is taken into account on how to provide extensive medical coverage when detailing the formation of the cooperative," he added.

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