Ms. Sherene Azura Azli, CEO of the Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council (MHTC), entered the world of medical tourism when she saw an opportunity to contribute to the economic growth of Malaysia. Her transition into the medical tourism industry was not planned.
Before becoming CEO of MHTC in March 2015, Ms. Sherene led the Malaysian Diaspora Outreach team at Talent Corp. Talent Corp is an organization developed under the Department of the Prime Minister to find and train talented individuals in line with the needs of Malaysia’s economic transformation.
Her duties at Talent Corp involved the development of human resources for the healthcare sector. Specifically she sought out healthcare specialists to fill the gaps in certain of Malaysia’s talent pool. Ms. Sherene’s search for medical talent included the diaspora of Malaysian healthcare professionals worldwide.
“All of the Malaysian’s that have been studying in different countries and been practicing there as consultants have different experiences and areas of specialty. We saw them as assets to Malaysia. Many of them have returned and the others have been contributing to Malaysia’s healthcare growth from wherever they are in different areas. That inspired me to get deeper into the healthcare industry,” says Ms. Sherene.
The Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council, MHTC, is a government agency established under the Ministry of Health with the goal of positioning Malaysia as the premiere medical tourism destination in Asia. One of the main goals for MHTC is to act as a liaison between the private and public sectors to encourage coordination and cooperation in order to provide a seamless patient experience.
Malaysia has more than 250 private hospitals, but MHTC members are carefully evaluated to ensure that the quality of care delivered is of the highest level. The strict criterion for MHTC membership ensures world-class medical service for all patients, not only medical tourists. Quality measures include clinical care as well as patient services.
The boom in medical tourism in Malaysia has coincided with the economic transformation program that focuses on twelve different sectors, one of the key sectors being healthcare. MHTC is always striving to improve the medical tourism industry with new talent and working to synergize both the private and public healthcare sectors. The growth in other sectors provides the infrastructure and services that contribute to a high quality patient and tourist experience.