According to Teng Chang Yeow, Chairman of State Tourism Development & Environment Committee, Malaysian tourism continues to grow during the last couple of years. For example there was a 10% growth in the number of foreigners seeking medical treatment in the country during 2004-2005. Last year some 110,000 foreigners visited the country for a treatment. In year 2005 it was only 100,000 visitors.
The medical staff is highly educated and well trained, and the cost of medical services is attractive, approximately 14 times cheaper than in USA.
The government is participating in campaigns to attract tourists to Malaysia. It aspires to bring some 20 million tourists to the country and earn RM44.5bn ($12.36bn). The campaigns are important to dispute some bad effect of certain articles in press. Tourism Minister Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor says: "As we are a Muslim country, some people have misconceptions about us, but once they are in Malaysia they realise quickly that we are a very liberal Muslim country."
Malaysia is a very attractive destination for Canadian medical tourists as the waiting times for treatment in Canada are very long. Canadians face long waiting lists for specialist appointments, medical screening, diagnostic testing, hospitalization and surgery. The Magic Carpet Journal’s editor Maxine George, who visited Malaysia, says that majority of people she met could speak or understand English. She visited eight private hospitals and claims that the standards are very high. Some 95% of the doctors has studied in the UK. The hospitals are clean and they have the state-of-the-art equipment. Maxine George was told that the hospitals are utilized only to some 60 to 80 percent of their capacity; therefore there are no waiting lists at all.
The country benefits from nice climate and beautiful nature. Medical treatments can be combined with a rehabilitation course or simply with holidays.