Healthcare Tourism at Pantai Hospitals

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Healthcare Tourism at Pantai Hospital

Health care in Malaysia is considered remarkably well by the standards of World Health Organization (WHO). It is one of the best and a role model for developing nations. It is estimated Malaysia healthcare industry to grow 8% in 2010. In Malaysia, medical hospital industry is a highly regulated industry. Prior to September 2010, healthcare advertising is restricted. Now, marketing via print, radio, television and digital channels is permitted. Total health care revenue in the region was estimated to grow from US$2.5 billion in 2006 to US$4.4 billion in 2012. In Malaysia, revenues from private health care rose from RM58.9 million in 2003 to RM299 million in 2009.

Healthcare travel is a global phenomenon with an anticipated 35% growth in the coming years. Taking this trend into consideration, Malaysia is aiming to attract more than 437,000 medical tourists this year with an estimated income of RM431 million. This is an increase from 392,956 healthcare travelers last year, with an income of RM379 million (New Straits Times, 2011). Private hospitals have been identified to be the driver of this transformation.

According to a source, Malaysia healthcare is in the stage of transformation to become more international in its outlook is well on its way. With government supports such as tax support, accreditations marketing activities, this transformation is said to well under way (Kok, 2009). In addition to these factors, medical costs in Malaysia, which have been known to be better than the neighboring countries, plus the good infrastructure and the widely spoken English language were all contributing factors of this transformation process. Another competitive factor would be the favorable exchange rate.

There are many other concerns that hospitals in Malaysia needs to address in understanding international patients perspectives. They have to be concerned with the patients’ motivation and expectation and whether these can be met. Another concern would be the quality of services rendered to these patients.

Pantai Holding Berhad which manages the Pantai Group of Hospitals is a pioneer and leading provider of high quality private healthcare services in Malaysia. The hospital has collectively more than 1,300 beds, with 100,000 admissions annually. It has 500 doctors, and more than 1,000 nurses. The group has several centres of excellence such as the Cancer Institute, Cardiac Catheterization Centre, Breast Care Centre, and the Haemodialysis Unit. The group has 9 hospitals nationwide. Of these 9 hospitals, only 4 have been identified as serving the overseas patients. Pantai currently has 2% of its patients from foreign tourists, and aspire for the number to be upgraded to 10% in 2011. Several international markets are the target for Pantai Group. These include Indonesia, Bangladesh, Indochina, Brunei and the Middle East.

Your group task is to assist Pantai Hospital to develop its international marketing strategies.

1. INTRODUCTION
2.1 Healthcare in Malaysia
Healthcare in Malaysia is mainly under the responsibility of the government's Ministry of Health. Malaysia generally has an efficient and widespread system of healthcare, operating a two-tier health care system which means government healthcare system provides basic, medical necessities while private healthcare system exists for those who can purchase additional health care services or receive better quality and faster access.

Government universal healthcare system provides healthcare and financial protection to all its citizens. It is organized to deliver a specified package of benefits to all members of a society with the end goal of providing financial risk protection, improved access to health services, and improved health outcomes. Malaysian society places importance on the expansion and development of healthcare, putting 3.7% of the government social sector development budget into public...
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