ISKANDAR PUTERI, Jan 11 — The Johor government said today it remains committed to strengthening the health tourism sector in the state, despite facing a testing period due to the Covid-19 pandemic over the past two years.
Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Hasni Mohammad said the main tourism sector was a major contributor to Johor’s economy, and health tourism had great potential.
“Health tourism is one of the important sectors that contribute to the state’s economy and Johor has the advantage of being strategically located for this.
“The state’s strategic location makes Johor an ideal investment destination for many private hospital operators, apart from other tourism-related establishments such as various hotel brands and theme parks,” said Hasni in a speech.
He was on a working visit to the nuclear medicine unit in Gleneagles Hospital Medini Johor here.
Hasni also called on private hospital operators in the state to improve the quality of their services in an effort to promote health tourism
The Benut assemblyman said the respective hospitals can focus on their marketing aspects in getting international customers, especially from the region.
Separately, Hasni also hopes that the federal government can further increase the country’s investments in the health sector to further improve the quality of public health services in the country.
“At present, Malaysia invests around 4.3 per cent of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the public health sector and this is a small amount compared to other South-east Asian countries.
“For example, Cambodia allocates 6.6 per cent of their GDP for that purpose, while Vietnam (5.9 per cent) and Myanmar (4.8 per cent),” he said.
Meanwhile, Gleneagles Hospital chief executive officer Dr Kamal Amzan said the decision to introduce the nuclear medical unit was to meet the current needs in Johor as there was a high percentage of cancer patients.
“Cancer patients do not have to wait long or visit hospitals in the Klang Valley to get their treatment.
“I am also confident that the introduction of this unit will also improve health services in Johor in support of the existing government hospitals,” he explained.