KOTA KINABALU: Sabah’s Tourism, Culture and Environment Ministry is ready to compete with neighbouring countries in offering world-class medical tourism products.
Its minister Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun said the state has been developing its medical tourism sector since last year, which has brought it up to par with other countries.
“The state capital is ready to receive international (patients seeking medical treatment at the best) private hospitals, such as Gleneagles, KPJ Sabah, KPJ Damai and the Jesselton Medical Centre.
“The Sabah Tourism Board is also working closely with the Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council, which is an initiative by the Health Ministry, to facilitate strategic development on the healthcare travel industry in Malaysia,” he said when winding up his speech at the 14th state assembly sitting here.
Masidi added that the Sabah Tourism Board has also built connections with several agents in Indonesia to handle medical tourism promotion activities.
“The air connectivity between Tarakan (in Indonesia) and Tawau (in Sabah, for example, will) enable those private hospitals to receive Indonesian (patients).
“(Meanwhile), the Ministry has also (consulted) with several airline companies to introduce direct flights from Balikpapan and Pontianak (in Indonesia) to Kota Kinabalu,” he said.
As for tourism receipts, Masidi said that the federal government collected revenue of RM6.396 billion until last month, including from Sabah.
Source: New Straits Times