Malaysia: Affordable quality healthcare

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Image: Courtesy of MHTC

This article was first published on June 1, 2019 in our Weekly E-Paper issue 39

Azrina Zin

For many medical travelers in the region, the greatest allure of Malaysia’s healthcare and service may lie in its affordability, especially when low-cost flights and cheap accommodation are readily available nearby its medical institutions.

Malaysia recently allocated a budget of RM 20 million for Malaysia Health Tourism Council (MHTC) to boost the nation’s medical tourism profile as reported by The News Straits Times, signifying its commitment to further promote the industry.

MHTC Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Sherene Azli. Image: Courtesy of MHTC

Such investment was also made in view of Malaysia’s position as one of the major tourist destinations in the region that accepts non-stop flights from countries like Indonesia, India, Thailand, Australia and Brunei.

MHTC familirisation participants posing in front of the MHTC Concierge and Lounge in the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) before departure. Image: Courtesy of MHTC

The Bruneian were recently given the chance to experience some of the country’s state-of-the-art medical facilities, especially to those requiring proper hospice and palliative care – and by the end of the visit, it does make sense if one were to call Malaysia the “go-to hub” medical tourism in this region.

Gleneagles Kuala Lumpur – Malaysia’s medical face

Malaysia’s medical prowess is currently helmed by Gleneagles Kuala Lumpur (GKL) which is well-known for its top-notch treatments and care, especially for palliative diseases.

With 300,000 people including international patients seeking its treatment annually, GKL strives to stay on top by keeping itself up-to-date with worrisome trends – locally and regionally – and then introduce appropriate cares, according to its CEO Hong Ling Lee.

CEO of Gleneagles Kuala Lumpur, Hong Ling Lee. Image: Azrina Zin

She added that GKL is also the first in the country to be capable of conducting Gamma Knife radiosurgery; a very precise form of radiation therapy that utilises beams of gamma rays to treat lesions in the brain which can be effective in treating tumors, blood vessel malformations and nerve conditions.

Alongside this hi-tech procedure, GKL has plans to establish a comprehensive Bariatric Centre for weight management and metabolic surgery to better address medical conditions related to obesity in the region.

Gamma Knife Radiosurgery available at Gleneagles Kuala Lumpur. Image: Azrina Zin

Acquiring hi-tech capabilities however, is not the sole reason why GKL is currently the top of its chart.

In establishing relationships with patients and gaining competitive edge in the market, healthcare providers must also deliver a positive experience for its patients.

The quality of staff-patient communication plays an important role during the admission and treatment processes.

Patient of Gleneagles Kuala Lumpur sharing his success stories with the media. Image: Azrina Zin

GKL does this well by incorporating such idea to its policies which require staff to respect patient’s dignity, religious needs and cultural differences – and based on patients’ testimonies, this was translated well into how they were treated throughout their time with the hospital.

Besides that, GKL also boasts a comforting atmosphere and convenience for patients via its gardens, cafes, gyms and shops.

Physiotherapy equipments available at Gleneagle Kuala Lumpur. Images: Azrina Zin

The hospital currently employs over 150 medical specialists from across Malaysia.

Therapeutic alternative care

The increasing demand for alternative medicine has inspired tourists to embark on wellness trips and activities to Malaysia.

Throughout the years, the country has established itself as an important wellness retreat with unique traditional wellness methods to delight both domestic and international tourists.

Facilities and services available at Prof Muhaya Eye & LASIK Centre (PMELC). Images: Azrina Zin

The Bruneian was given the chance to visit the enchanting Palace of Golden Horses – a resort housing several of Malaysia’s famous wellness establishments including GHHS Healthcare and the Chinese Medical Centre and Wellness Centre.

From acupuncture, cupping (Ba Guan) therapy, Chiropractic treatment to massage therapy, resort visitors are allowed to enjoy their treatments in an idyllic resort setting.

The resort also has immersive programs to suit individual goals, including detox and weight loss, anti-aging and de-stressing.

International Patient Lounge at the Gleneagles Kuala Lumpur. Images: Azrina Zin

Visitors may also opt for a comprehensive health screening to the genetic level that screens your genes, cells and organs to determine your current health status and risk factors that some of the media representative had to opportunity to experience.

Adding to that would be a restaurant helmed by award-winning chef as well as a yoga and cultural programmes – the right recipe to a truly indulgent experience for guests.

The Bruneian