Muscat: For the second time this year, officials from the Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council are visiting Oman to promote Malaysia as a potential destination for people seeking medical services abroad.
The delegation, which also includes representatives from hospitals and three doctors, is participating in the 4th Oman Health Exhibition and Conference at the Oman International Exhibition Centre which begins today.
Speaking to Times of Oman prior to a seminar for ladies about the Malaysian medical tourism industry on Sunday evening, Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council, Manager for Market Development at Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council, Kavitha Mathuvay, said Oman is a growing market.
“There’s encouraging market growth in Oman. The average since 2010 is almost 50 per cent,” Mathuvay said.
In 2012, there were approximately 1000 Omani patients in Malaysian hospitals, whereas in 2013 there were 1300, meaning the number of Omanis seeking medical consultations and treatments in the Southeast Asian country rose by about 30 per cent. From among the GCC countries, Omanis are ranked third among medical travellers going to Malaysia. “When we see those numbers we see that the growth is quite encouraging which is what keeps us coming back,” she added, noting that a delegation also visited Oman in April.
The Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council is also working with Oman’s Ministry of Health to promote Malaysia as a destination for medical referrals. Currently, Mathuvay said, India, Thailand and European countries are common destinations for referrals but she would like Malaysia to be among them.
She said that for people in Oman who consider going abroad for health care, there are many reasons to choose Malaysia. In addition to its high quality care and strict regulations, are the low costs and features that appeal to Muslims, such as the prevalence of halal food and access to prayer rooms in the hospitals, and services in Arabic.
Some of the common medical fields in which Omanis seek treatment in Malaysia include cardiology, orthopaedics, oncology, ophthalmology, IVF and neurology, Mathuvay added.
Originally published on www.timesofoman.com