A Trip to Beautify Oneself

The attention paid to this sector has made Malaysia the world’s third most popular destination for medical tourism, both for foreign patients and investors. Data from Nuwire Investors Online on Malaysia’s real estate and investment opportunities mentions that what attracts foreign investors to Malaysia are its quality products, facilities and services as well as the skills and competency in providing sophisticated medical services.

Statistics taken from Hospitals-Malaysia.org reveal that the country has a comprehensive network of hospitals, clinics and doctors, with 88.5 percent of the population living within three kilometers of a medical center or private doctor.

Along with its ongoing heavy promotion on medical tourism, Malaysia has selected 35 private hospitals to support the country’s campaign for Malaysia as an attractive and appropriate destination.

Malaysia’s medical tourism has increased significantly over the past several years. In 2006, the country’s hospitals served 296,687 foreign patients, who brought in an income of about US$59 million (about Rp 542.8 billion).

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The Malaysian Hospital Association projects the number of foreign patients will grow at an average rate of 30 percent per year until 2010. Malaysia not only offers cosmetic surgery but also a wide range of other medical services and procedures, including dental and heart operations that cost less than those in developed countries, like the US, for instance.

It is therefore no surprise that Malaysia is among the world’s top five medical tourism destinations, namely Panama, Brazil, Malaysia, Costa Rica and India, respectively. So it could be said that Nurlita is making the right choice with her plan to travel to Penang in June. “I am taking leave then, and am sure I’ll come back not only fresh but also beautiful,” she said. (Burhan Abe)

The Jakarta Post, February 22, 2009

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