(File pix) Deputy Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Hilmi Yahaya. Pix by Saddam Yusoff

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia is on track of achieving RM1.15 billion in medical tourism industry revenue by year end, said Deputy Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Hilmi Yahaya.

He said private hospitals and industry stakeholders have demonstrated their commitment in making the country a leading destination for medical tourism.

"I am pleased to say that with solid backing of the Malaysian government, the growth of medical tourism industry is certainly better facilitated today," he said.

He said medical tourism is part of the 12 National Key Economic Areas (NKEA) set to drive the country towards a high income nation by 2020.

"In 2011, 643,000 of overseas visitors had travelled to Malaysia for medical purposes. The number has increased to 921,000 in 2016, with the revenue growing more than 10 per cent per year," he said.

Dr Hilmi said one of the reasons behind the success was due to quality of treatment provided by the private sector.

"The treatment offered is not just good in quality but also affordable.

"Malaysia has also been recognised as International Medical Travel Journal's (IMTJ) Health and Medical Tourism Destination of the year 2015 to 2017.

He said, to date, 74 of the best private hospitals in the country were registered with Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council (MHTC).

"MHTC has been engaging overseas marketing in Indonesia, Myanmar, Vietnam, China as well as India," he said.

During the KPJ Damansara Specialist Hospital's 20th Anniversary Celebration today, Dr Hilmi also launched a corporate social responsibility programme under a campaign known as #DamansaraCare.

Its executive director Aminuddin Dawam said the fundraising campaign would benefit three beneficiaries namely Islamic Medical Association Malaysia Response and Relief Team (Imaret), Mercy Malaysia and Malaysia Relief Agency (MRA).

KPJ aims to raise RM1 million each to the beneficiaries.

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