More Bangladeshis choosing Malaysia as healthcare destination

mroeandmoreAviation News: More and more Bangladeshis are choosing Malaysia as a healthcare destination. This was stated by Dr Mary Wong Lai Lin, Chief Executive Officer, Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council while talking to The Bangladesh Monitor at the Malaysia Healthcare Services Ltd office in the city.

In the year 2010, some 3000 patients went from Bangladesh to Malaysia for treatment which increased to 5000 in 2011, 11 thousand in 2012 and over 12 thousand in 2013. Dr Mary Wong Lai Lin said the growing numbers show patients are coming back hale and hearty and are recommending treatment in Malaysia to their friends and relatives and neighbours.

She said, Malaysia Healthcare Services Ltd was set up in Bangladesh to provide access to information_ through personalised services, e-mail and call centre_ about Malaysian healthcare and hospitality. It also serves as a visa centre for medical tourists. For those who come to us for getting treated in Malaysia, we try to provide visa within two days.

She said, we are also providing free medical consultations by flying in renowned Malaysian specialist physicians from time to time. In the same way we plan to hold monthly health talks here. We have held programmes in Dhaka and Chittagong and will hold a Malaysia healthcare exposition in Sylhet at the end of April.

Patients going to Malaysia can choose treatment at 72 out of 253 high quality hospitals. Each of these 72 hospitals are very specialised with state-of-the-art equipment and treatment_ some are good for the heart, some for eyes, some for joints, while some for fertility. Each of them is a centre of excellence and are spread at different places of Malaysia_ Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Kuching, Kota Kinabalu, Johore etc.

Besides health screening, the patients can have their heart procedures, bypasses, lungs infection treated at these hospitals. A lot of patients go to Malaysia from here for eye treatment, fixing spine problems, knee replacement and cancer treatment, Dr Mary Wong Lai Lin said.

Dr Mary Wong Lai Lin said cost of different kinds of operations is about one-third the cost of the same procedures in neighbouring Singapore. The government of Malaysia has fixed a ceiling on doctors’ fees and hospital charges. Doctors and hospitals cannot charge more than what has been fixed by the government. This government step (imposing ceiling) has benefitted the Malaysians as well as the foreign medical tourists.

Patients can be received at the airport if he or she wishes. We can also make a custom-made tour package for them after they get cured. Talking about food, she said Halal food is available everywhere. There is a large number of Bangladeshis in Malaysia. So patients do not feel out of place, she said.

Dr Mary Wong Lai Lin said Malaysia is one of the top ten medical tourism destinations in the world.
Heart and lung specialist Venugopal M Balachand, who was part of the team which operated on the legendary leader of Malaysia Dr Mahathir Mohamed, was here offering free consultations to patients. “I am a specialist on bypass, heart valve replacement and other complex heart and lung operation of the patients. I lead a team of surgeons which operates on about 100 patients a year,” he said.

Dr Sankar Chandra Podder, Chief Executive Officer, Malaysia Healthcare Services Ltd said, “Bangladesh is a potential market as people here want better treatment. As long as there are threats to public health, risks to environment, absence of quality food items, there will always be diseases. We have doctors, we have hospitals and other facilities and our doctors read the same books, use the same equipment, but what is absence here is trust. This absence of trust is forcing people to go abroad. We have to build up this trust.”

“On an average, about 10 lakh Bangladeshis go out of the country for medical treatment every year. Of these 60 per cent go to India and the rest 40 per cent to other countries. At Malaysia Healthcare Services Ltd we provide information about treatment and healthcare facilities available in the South Asian country,” he said.

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