Aspiration to develop and promote Penang as the Medical City for the Region (en/cn)

Ladies & gentlemen

After the inspiring presentations on Cross Border Healthcare by Dato’ Dr Chan Kok Ewe, Chairman of the Penang Health Association and How Singapore can contribute to Healthcare in Penang by Prof Soo Khee Chee, Director of the National Cancer Centre, Singapore, I am further encouraged to share with you my vision for healthcare in Penang.

Our vision of Penang as the leading medical hub in Malaysian is underpinned by quality healthcare, managed costs affordable for the lower as well as high-end segments of the market and a pro-active government administration intent on making the stay of not just the patients as comfortable as possible under the cirmsumstances but also relaxing for their family members. We intend to combine a all in one experience of getting our ailment treated and leaving Penang treated, rested, cured and cheerful.

The resort nature of Penang, our wonderful UNESCO World Heritage City, tantalizing old world charms and lifestyle and our world famous food is an unbeatable combination for any holidaygoers. After all Yahoo Travel listed Penang as one of the top 10 islands you must explore before you die and Penang asam laksa has been listed by CNN as the No. 7 best food in the world.

Having said that, Penang is not competing with Singapore as the lack of direct international flights make our appeal regional, especially the market close to Thailand and Northern Sumatera. In a way Penang complements Singapore in that our direct links allows any patient to also consider Singapore for further treatment.

Penang’s dominant role in the medical tourism industry in Malaysia is backed up by figures. Out of Malaysia’s total medical tourism receipts in 2009 of RM288 million, Penang contributed RM 164 million or 57%. In 2010 out of Malaysia’s total medical tourism receipts in 2010 of RM 336 million, Penang contributed RM 218 million or 66%.

The Hotel Resort Insider in 2010, named Malaysia as one of the top five medical tourism destinations in the world. The healthcare services provided in Malaysia, which cover a full and extended range of secondary and tertiary medical specialities are of equal standards but comparatively cheaper than in the U.S., Europe and other developed nations.

Penang is more than one-and-a-half times the size of Singapore, with a population of 1.6 million or 30% of Singapore’s population. Penang has more than ten private hospitals but seven speciality hospitals stand out. These seven hospitals have formed a consortium among themselves to jointly promote medical tourism in Penang.

Calling themselves the Penang Health Association, these hospitals portray a distinct uniqueness of commonality in purpose. Although they are separate business entities they are compatriots in promoting Penang as the destination of choice for medical tourism.

The people in Penang are known for their prudence with resources, be it financial or people. The Penang Health Association has adopted these qualities and has been promoting Penang as a medical hub rather than promoting their individual hospital to potential patients from within the ASEAN region. They have been participating in road shows and exhibitions outside Malaysia as Penang Health Association as an affordable and quality healthcare destination.

Taking cognizance of the efforts of these players in healthcare services in Penang, it is my aspiration to develop and promote Penang as the Medical City for the Region. As a Medical City, not only medical or healthcare services are provided but it also entails an extensive dimension of services, beginning from:

-Arrival at Penang International Airport or any other entry point;
-Airport transfer to / from the hospital for the patient and lodging for the patient’s family
-Treatment in the hospital
-Transportation for patient’s family to daily hospital visits
-Tour packages for patient’s family
-Recuperation or convalescence either in the hospital or at a local lodging
-Post treatment services

In order to provide a complete and interdependence range of services, a coopetition (cooperative competition) approach is adopted to involve all related entities of the services industry. This means that the various sectors of the services industry such as

-operators of tour & travel trade
-operators of hotels, service apartments and other lodgings
-transport operators
-restaurants and food caterers
-other related services providers have to pool their resources to make the Medical City concept a reality.

I am confident that the players in the services industry will response positively to the initiative of developing and promoting Penang as the Medical City for the reason that the success of the Medical City will translate to profitability for them.

As a Medical City, patients from within ASEAN and further afield will be able to come to Penang to seek a holistic and cost-effective healthcare. The holistic healthcare approach fosters a cooperative relationship among all those who are involved, thus leading towards the best possible attainment of the physical, mental, emotional, social as well as spiritual aspects of health. The holistic approach is consistent with the rising demand for a wider extent of healthcare, which include not only curing illnesses but also encompasses education and responsibility for personal efforts towards achieving balance and well being.

We certainly welcome Singapore’s assistance in contributing to the growth of the healthcare sector in Penang and I look forward to the day that healthcare services in Penang will be sought after by patients outside ASEAN.

Speech by Right Honorable Lim Guan Eng, Chief Minister of Penang at “Penang Dialogue – Penang’s Healthcare Sector: Strategies, Synergies & Opportunities” August 11, 2011 @ Tanglin Club, Singapore

槟州首席部长林冠英于2011年8月11日在新加坡Tanglin 俱乐部的“ 槟州医疗领域: 策略、合成及机会”的对话会上发表谈话,重点如下:


槟城拥有渡假胜地的特质,乔治市是联合国科教文组织认可的世界文化遗产,老城市的魅力及生活方式、著名美食都是让游客难怀的组合。Yahoo Travel也将槟城列为十大临死前必到之处,而槟城亚参叻沙也在美国有线电视新闻网(CNN)世界美食排行榜是名列第七。

槟城并非要与新加坡竞争,毕竟我们缺少直接国际航班,因此,我们更注重区域性市场,特别是泰国及北苏门答腊一带。槟城 – 新加坡的直飞航班也方便那些要前往新加坡接受进一步治疗的病人,这方面,槟城与新加坡可说是相辅相成。


2010年The Hotel Resort Insider 把马来西亚列为世界五大医保旅游胜地,马来西亚提供的医疗设施(包括全面、第二及第三阶的医疗器材)水平相去不远,但是价格比美国、欧洲及其它发达国家低廉。





-病患的机场- 医院载送服务,病患家属的住宿
-病患 家属的旅游配套

为了提供更完善及相辅相成的服务,我们采纳合作竞争(cooperative competition) 方式,让各领域的服务业者加入。这包括:





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