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Opening Remarks


organised by



Yang Berhormat Dato’ Haji Amiruddin Haji Hamzah
Deputy Minister of Finance Malaysia

Yang Berhormat Dr. Lee Boon Chye
Deputy Minister of Health Malaysia

Yang Berbahagia Ms. Sherene Azli
CEO of Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council

Yang Berbahagia Datuk Dr. Noor Hisham Abdullah
Director General of Health Malaysia

Yang Berbahagia Datuk Dr. Kuljit Singh
President of the Association of Private Hospitals of Malaysia

Yang Berusaha En. Ahmad Taufek Omar
Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer, TM One

Good morning and Salam Harapan,



1. I am honoured to address you today about how we are bringing our beloved country to new heights – one industry at a time. The healthcare travel industry has performed well on the global frontier, especially over the past 10 years.

2. “Differentiation for Excellence” is this year’s insigHT Conference theme, offering the same products and services in increasingly creative ways. Healthcare travel is largely popular around the world, with most countries offering attractive value propositions.

3. Our healthcare system’s reputation to be of quality and upholding patient safety is truly what differentiates us from the rest. I know this by personal experience as the ex-Chief Minister of Penang; the state holds a history in nurturing a healthcare hub – one that is deeply rooted in trust, and excellent service at affordable prices.

Ladies and gentlemen, 

4. In the past five years, the average global compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) for the health care travel industry recorded between a 10-12% growth spurt.

5. Asia Pacific dominates the global healthcare travel industry, taking approximately 25% of the total estimated market value. APAC’s healthcare travel market share is estimated to be around USD 4 billion based on the global estimate by International Medical Travel Journal or IMTJ. This number is projected to grow to USD 9.5 billion by 2022.

6. Malaysia has out-performed the global and regional growth rates. In terms of revenue, the CAGR has been an encouraging 17% from 2015 to 2018. In 2018 alone, revenue receipts reached RM1.5 billion from approximately 1.2 million healthcare traveller arrivals.

7. This economic impact accounts for expenditure on transportation, accommodation, tourism activities which includes shopping and many other activities. As a niche sector, healthcare travel comprises some 7.6% of total tourism revenues and is expected to grow strongly going forward.

Ladies and gentlemen, 

8. Under the 10th and 11th Malaysia Plan, a target has been set for Malaysia Healthcare to deliver 25% growth with over RM1.8 billion in hospital revenues and an estimated total economic impact of RM8 billion for 2019.

9. Through incentives such as the Investment Tax Allowances, roughly 15,000 jobs have been created within the private healthcare sector. In addition to that, we have seen an increase in private sector bed capacity to the current 15,000 units we have presently now.

10. To this end, the Government had announced in Budget 2019 RM100 million in matching grants for international marketing and promotional programmes and an allocation of RM20 million to the Malaysia Health Tourism Council to achieve the growth target, and to collaborate with reputable private hospitals to enable the branding of Malaysia as a destination of choice for medical tourism.

11. Healthcare travel will promote the establishment of better services and equipment. As the industry continues to grow, it will bring economies of scale for the usage of such technologies for Malaysians, while serving international patients at the same time. On that note, I strongly encourage the exemplification of patient safety, clinical-based outcomes, continued development of centres-ofexcellence, research and development activities as well as pioneering new, ground-breaking and innovative treatments.

12. In conjunction with Visit Malaysia Year 2020, I envision MYHT2020 to propel our nation as a country with healthcare solutions at an affordable cost, as well as assist us in achieving the Prime Minister, YAB Tun Dr Mahathir’s vision of Shared Prosperity.

Ladies and gentlemen, 

13. Let me assure you that the Ministry of Finance will continue supporting the industry through tax incentives and creating business development frameworks which will allow the industry to grow sustainably. It was also announced last year, that service tax will not be imposed on patients at private health centres, whereas previously a 6% GST was charged.

14. The government’s commitment to the private healthcare industry through investment tax allowance and incentives have attracted almost RM 10 billion in private investments in 2018, of which more than RM 1 billion was from foreign direct investments and more than RM 8 billion from local investment.

15. Amongst the new investments include Penang’s Medical City consisting of RM2 Billion investment to build the largest private hospital with 1, 000 beds, and the establishment of a foreign private hospital.

16. Through a genuine public-private partnership, we hope to leverage on each other’s strengths, and ensure that all parties get the best value for their investments. We want to assure you that this Government is committed to making quick decisions. We have established a joint steering committee to approve investments, chaired jointly by myself, and Minister of International Trade and Industry, YB Datuk Darrell Leiking. Where previously, for all foreign as well as domestic investments will take at least 6-9 months to get final approval, this will be approved on a monthly basis.

17. To show our commitment in further supporting the industry's growth and sustainability, we will look into acknowledging qualified Malaysian private hospitals who are establishing themselves as flagship hospitals for healthcare travel. The shortlisted candidates for the firstever Malaysian Flagship Medical Tourism Hospital, in no particular order:

a) Institut Jantung Negara

b) Sunway Medical Centre

c) Thomson Hospital Kota Damansara

d) Ramsay Sime Darby Subang Jaya Medical Centre

e) Prince Court Medical Centre

f) Mahkota Medical Centre

g) Island Hospital

h) Gleneagles Penang

i) KPJ Ampang Puteri

18. The Malaysian government will be lending our efforts in further facilitating and enabling these individual hospitals to grow beyond borders.

19. With that, I hereby declare insigHT2019 open and I wish all delegates an insightful conference ahead.

Thank you.