|Joint effort: Ambassador Extraordinary & Plenipotentiary of Malaysia to Viet Nam Dato' Azmil Mohd. Zabidi, third from left, and representatives from MHTC, Malaysian hospitals and Vietnamese insurance firms at the signing ceremony. — VNS Photo
HA NOI (VNS) — A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on co-operation was signed on May 25 between Malaysian hospitals and Vietnamese insurance companies in Ha Noi.
The signing ceremony, organised by Insmart Co Ltd, saw the inclusion of top Malaysian private hospitals, such as the National Heart Institute, Ramsay Sime Darby Health Care and Pantai Hospital Kuala Lumpur, with insurance providers in Viet Nam, including Post and Telecommunication Joint Stock Insurance Corporation (PTI), Vietinbank Insurance Company (VBI) and Petrolimex Insurance Corporation (PJICO).
Under the MoU, which was encouraged with the presence of Ambassador Extraordinary & Plenipotentiary of Malaysia to Viet Nam Dato' Azmil Mohd. Zabidi, the Malaysian hospital will be part of the Vietnamese insurance companies' service, ensuring that the customers enjoy insurance rights and interests that are similar to those in Viet Nam.
Sherene Azli, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council (MHTC), said she hoped that the numbers of healthcare travellers from Viet Nam would double this year, knowing that Malaysia offers a seamless end-to-end healthcare service strictly monitored by the Malaysian Ministry of Health.
The MHTC was established by the Government of Malaysia as the primary agency to develop the healthcare travel industry and promote Malaysia as the preferred destination for healthcare travel in the region. MHTC works closely with all relevant government agencies and private healthcare organisations to ensure quality care and facilitate smooth entry of healthcare travellers.
Azli said the outstanding advantages of her country's medical service included healthcare quality that meets global standards, the presence of leading global healthcare centres, advanced medical technology and competitive costs.
"Rich in our tourism offerings, we want healthcare travellers who come to Malaysia for treatment to feel at ease and truly experience Malaysian hospitality," said Sherene Azli.
Speaking at the ceremony, Deputy CEO of PTI Nguyen Duc Binh said the partnership was a valuable strategic alliance that would allow the two sides to leverage their established infrastructure and insurance base in Viet Nam into a new market, such as Malaysia, with a strong government-backed healthcare travel system in place.
Nguyen Hong Phong, Deputy CEO of ViettinBank Insurance Company Ltd., said he wanted customers to have information about affordable healthcare insurance options through the partnership with these top Malaysian hospitals.
Phong said his company had co-operated with Insmart for five years to develop healthcare services in Viet Nam. This was the first time they were joining hands to develop insurance services in Malaysia.
"With this co-operation initiative, we will provide customers various healthcare choices. We have insurance packages from VND100 million (US$4,608) to VND2 billion ($92,165) per year for the customers," Phong said.
He said during his visits to Malaysian hospitals, he saw advanced facilities and quality healthcare services with spending that was cheaper than in other countries.
Malaysia has excellent cooperative relationships with Viet Nam in economics, trade and investment areas, which have seen rapid and stable development over the years. Malaysia hopes that this trend continues and spills over into the healthcare sector, as the country is prepared to compete with the world's best in healthcare travel, with its numerous medical and wellness offerings.
Azli said that more than 5,000 Vietnamese patients visited Malaysia for healthcare treatment in the 2013-14 period. The figure was expected to double this year.
With the diversification of healthcare travel services, Azli said that the Vietnamese visitors would feel comfortable and have good experiences from Malaysian hospitals.
It's reported that Malaysia received some 800,000 medical tourists in 2014. Popular treatments being sought are in cardiology, oncology, fertility treatments, orthopedics, ophthalmology, dental treatments, health screenings, and cosmetic surgery. Malaysia has recently won the Medical Travel "Destination of the Year 2015" award, a prestigious accomplishment presented by the International Medical Travel Journal (IMTJ) in the United Kingdom. — VNS