PETALING JAYA, 26 AUGUST 2019: Malaysia Healthcare is celebrating members of media
who have contributed to the growth in global awareness of the country’s healthcare travel
industry. Through the inaugural, first-in-the-world Medical Travel Media Awards (MTMA)
2019, Malaysia Healthcare announced the first-ever winners of this award in Petaling Jaya,
recently. Media organisations and journalists were recognised for their efforts in boosting
Malaysia's profile in the international medical travel industry.
Over the years, awareness of Malaysia’s healthcare travel industry, known as Malaysia
Healthcare, has been greatly built through local and international media. The media have
aided in transforming Malaysia as a former hidden jewel to one of the leading destinations
for healthcare travel in the world. Malaysia Healthcare has seen a consisted increase in
number of visitors to the country, doubling the number of visitors in 2011 from 643,000 to 1.2million in 2018. Malaysia enjoyed a total of RM 1.5 billion in hospital receipts resulting in an estimated economic impact of RM 5 billion.
MTMA is organised by the Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council (MHTC) and supported by Asia’s first digital public relations platform, Supernewsroom. The awards, which aims to recognise journalism excellence in the medical travel industry, received more than 250 submissions from media agencies and journalists from over ten countries.
Deputy Minister of Finance Malaysia, YB Dato’ Ir. Haji Amiruddin bin Hamzah, praised the
media for their support and influence in helping grow the nation’s medical travel industry.
“The media have been a catalyst to spur discussions of how healthcare travel trends have
shifted. You (the media) all have brought a balance in the way we perceive the strength of
Asian healthcare systems. Especially for South East Asia, who are emerging leaders within
the global landscape, which was once strongly dominated by the West,” he said during the
Today, Asia Pacific’s healthcare travel landscape alone receives 40-45% of total global
healthcare travellers. Asia Pacific’s compound annual growth rate (CAGR) is of 12-14%,
outpacing the global average CAGR of 10-12%. Malaysia Healthcare experiences a CAGR
of 16-17%, with markets such as China and Indonesia recording 11% and 31% growth
respectively between 2017 to 2018.
The response received for MTMA showcased an increasing global interest towards the
healthcare industry available in Malaysia. Submissions came from as far as South Africa,
Germany, Croatia, and the United Kingdom. Closer to home, MTMA also received entries
from Bangladesh, Vietnam, Brunei and Indonesia.
“We were overwhelmed by the responses received from both international and local journalists and media organisations. The media’s efforts have been very instrumental for Malaysia’s transition from being the ‘Hidden Jewel of Asia’ to one of the leading healthcare travel destinations in the world,” expressed Sherene Azli, the Chief Executive Officer of
Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council. “This is truly an extraordinary testament to the growth of
awareness of the medical travel industry not only in Malaysia but throughout the world.”
The five categories that were contested for MTMA 2019 are:
● Medical Travel Media Award Malaysia (Best Print Feature)
● Medical Travel Media Award (Best Broadcast Feature)
● Medical Travel Media Award (Best Online Feature – Local/International)
● Medical Travel Journalist of the Year
● Medical Travel Editorial Team of the Year
The award criteria for all categories were based on the reporters’ journalistic flair in providing
engaging, thought-provoking features together with insightful reporting. The key element that
should be present was the reach or share-ability of the feature on the media’s respective
social media platforms. The Medical Travel Journalist of the Year award was presented to
a journalist who had provided the most timely, accurate and original news reporting on
Malaysia’s medical travel industry in any print, broadcast or online media.
MTMA also recognised the efforts that the media agencies have executed to increase the
awareness of Malaysia’s medical travel industry through the ‘Medical Travel Editorial Team
of the Year’ award. The award was presented to a media agency that has provided the most
insightful analysis of all aspects of Malaysia’s medical travel industry. This category also
rewarded an additional media agency for the ‘Highly Commended Editorial Team of the
Year’ award. Also up for grabs is a 3-day-2-night ‘Malaysia Healthcare Experience’ grand
prize, sponsored by Institut Jantung Negara, The Haven Resort Hotel, and MHTC. The lucky
winner will get a chance to experience first-hand Malaysia’s healthcare service offerings and
All awards submissions were vetted through by a team of professionals and subject-matter
experts from the industry. At the helm of the judging panel this year was Suhaimi Sulaiman
who is the former Chief Executive Officer and Group Editor-in-Chief for Astro Awani. Also on
the panel were:
● Marc Lourdes – Vice President, Digital Content, ASTRO
● Hanizah Hamzah – Programme Manager, Asia Pacific Broadcasting Union
● Syed Mohamed Idid – Head of Corporate Communications, Community Relations and
Public Engagement, PLUS Malaysia, and
● Shannon Teoh – Malaysia Bureau Chief, the Singapore Straits Times.
MTMA 2019 is a prelude to the upcoming international healthcare travel campaign, Malaysia
Year of Healthcare Travel 2020 (MYHT2020). & We would like to extend our gratitude to the
media who have made it possible through our Medical Travel Media Awards. The awards
presented tonight are undoubtedly a global recognition for the media’s contributions to
position Malaysia as the top-of-mind, preferred medical travel destination, paving the way for
our upcoming Malaysia Year of Healthcare Travel 2020 (MYHT2020),” Sherene shared
In 2020, Malaysia Healthcare will be anchoring Malaysia Year of Healthcare Travel 2020
(MYHT2020) in tandem with Visit Malaysia 2020. Malaysia Healthcare invites healthcare
travellers from all over the world to prioritise their health and wellness, through a seamless
patient experience journey and warm hospitality in Malaysia.