Private hospitals drawing medical tourists to state — Abdul Karim


KUCHING: Medical tourism in Sarawak is booming due mainly to the quality of health services in private hospitals coupled with the relatively cheaper charges.

Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Youth Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah told The Borneo Post yesterday there has been an increase in the number of tourists from the neighbouring countries especially from Kalimantan seeking treatment here.

He added that the total number of tourist arrivals in 2015 was 4.5 million and in 2016 it reached 4.67 million.

“And for the first quarter of this year, the total number of tourist arrivals has already reached 1.27 million,” said Karim, adding that the target of tourist arrivals to the state for this year is 5 million.

Meanwhile, according to a spokesperson from Normah Medical Specialist Centre, they have various packages offered to foreigners, charging them as low as RM200 for simple medical screening test to the more sophisticated and complex medical treatment of various ailments.

“We have been promoting our health services through our offices in Indonesia and the response has even very positive,” said the spokesperson.

Other private hospitals in Kuching such as KPJ Hospital, Timberland and Borneo Medical Centre have also reported an increase in the number of tourists seeking health care services.

Even the Rajang Medical Centre in Sibu has reported to have an increase in the number of patients from the neighbouring countries who seek treatment there.