Category Archives: IMTJ

Malaysia… “the best kept secret in Medical Tourism”

By | IMTJ, Malaysia, Medical Travel Destination | No Comments

The first Malaysia International Healthcare Travel Expo and Conference (MIHTE 2012) in Kuala Lumpur marked an important point in the development of Malaysia’s medical tourism industry, led by the Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council (MHTC). MIHTE attracted more than 1,300 delegates from  34 countries and was supported by  84 local and international exhibitors.

As the local healthcare systems develop, the Asian medical travel sector has enjoyed a period of growth in a difficult global healthcare market that has yet to recover from the financial crisis of 2008. Malaysia came relatively late to the medical tourism game, riding on the coat tails of Korea, Singapore and Thailand. As one conference attendee described the country, it has been “the best kept secret in medical tourism”. But it is very clear that the work of MHTC, led by Dr Mary Wong,  and the Association of Private Hospitals in Malaysia (APHM), led by Dr Jacob Thomas, is paying dividends. Malaysia has climbed into the top five of medical tourism destinations worldwide (IMTJ Market  Analysis).

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When Things Go Wrong…

By | IMTJ | No Comments

I recall some time back attending a medical tourism conference in the USA. The organisers had included on their programme a UK plastic surgeon who was to speak on “Cosmetic Surgery Abroad”. Unfortunately, the conference organisers hadn’t done their speaker research too well. What they expected to be a plug for cosmetic surgery tourism turned out to be a 20 minute onslaught of graphic slides illustrating cases of cosmetic surgery gone wrong…. patients who had travelled from the UK to elsewhere for cosmetic surgery whom this surgeon had been asked to treat on their return….. what is becoming known in the UK as “Botched up Bodies”. (For non-native English speakers, “botched up” means …. ruined, destroyed, messed up.)

Cosmetic surgery is a significant sector of the medical tourism market. It represents a significant proportion of the outbound medical tourism market from countries with developed health systems such as the UK. In the UK, according to the Treatment Abroad Medical Tourism Survey, 42% of outbound medical tourists are seeking cosmetic surgery abroad. These consumers cannot afford the prices for cosmetic surgery within UK hospitals and clinics and are attracted by the cost savings available in other countries.  Belgium, Czech Republic, Turkey and Poland are the favoured destinations for British women seeking a new look.

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