While Penang is famed as a food haven, we are also well-known as a medical hub. As such it is timely for us to hold the 1st Penang Medical Expo & Malaysian Healthcare Policy Conference . I welcome all of you to PMEX 2017, organised by the State Government of Penang and Penang Convention and Exhibition Bureau (PCEB), at the Setia SPICE Convention, which is the world first hybrid solar powered convention centre.
This healthcare event will showcase the healthcare system in Penang and aims to establish Penang as one of the main players in reviewing and discussing healthcare policies with 4 academics experts and prominent medical professionals.
Penang has recorded a growth of 14.8% in medical tourists from 302,000 in 2015 to 347,000 in 2016, with a revenue increase by 17.3% from RM390,694,625 in 2015 to RM458,262,629 in 2016. Therefore, this indicates that medical and healthcare based industries have become one of the prominent industries in Penang.
PMEX 2017 hopes to also provide a holistic approach towards healthcare and medical tourism. It is the platform for the industries to promote their high quality medical treatment at affordable prices, ranging from diagnostic and testing to surgery, post-surgery and recuperative facilities. PMEX 2017 will also showcase a range of other services such as cosmetic surgery, hospices and welfare centres.
Apart from stressing on the need to increase the number of doctors and nurses, highly qualified and expert health-care workers, capacity and capability building is important to ensure that the latest medical technology is available. With Penang’s aspiration to become a medical city, a broad range of issues need to be discussed.
Establishing private hospitals as well as having plans to build new ones signify a vote of confidence to put Penang on the map as a medical city. For your information, the Island Hospital Group, a private hospital entity, has invested RM2 billion to build Malaysia’s largest private hospital of 1,000 beds.
We are confident that this event would be beneficial to our participants, industry players as well as stakeholders. I hope the gathering of minds will foster discussions that could lead to reform and eventually transform the landscape of the Malaysian healthcare system.