Sunday, September 29, 2013

Sarawak to continue with health tourism promotion

KUCHING: The state will continue to push towards promoting its health tourism industry that has continued to garner a significant increase in tourist arrivals.

Sarawak Tourism Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg said the health sector here had begun to receive a lot of attention within the region considering the cheaper cost of medical treatment with top class facilities and medical specialist.

He added that from January till June this year, the state recorded an increase of between 12 and 16 per cent in tourist arrivals compared to the corresponding period last year. Last year, the state recorded about 4.1 million in tourist arrivals.

“We (the state) have received many visitors from neighbouring Kalimantan and even Jakarta, Indonesia, who came to sought treatment at private hospitals here such as KPJ Kuching Specialist Hospital and Normah Medical Centre.

“The upcoming Borneo Specialist Centre, which will house medical specialists who had served in Singapore, is sure to bring in their own base of clients. Sarawak posed an advantage because treatment cost would be lower than Singapore.

“The main tourism sub sector that has garnered lots of attention is health tourism. The increasing medical facilities in the state would ensure improvement in the health tourism sector. Tourist arrivals would increase,” Abang Johari, who is also Housing Minister, told reporters when met at the ‘Jom Heboh’ carnival here yesterday.

Among those present were Works Minister Datuk Fadillah Yusof and Malaysia Institute of Defence and Security (Midas) chief executive Lt Gen Dato Pahlawan Dr William R Stevenson.

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