State Tourism Minister Datuk Abang Johari Openg said the Damai beach resort, located about 30km away from the hustle bustle city, nested in the rainforest with fresh air and relaxing environment by the beach are suitable for patients who are seeking for comfort in their recovery process.
Besides continues to enhance the medical services and quality in Sarawak, he said, the state government hoped to do more than that, by offering pre and post treatment in a resort or a holiday villa.
Speaking at the Sarawak General Hospital’s Hari Raya celebration event here yesterday, Johari said he had directed Sarawak Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) to study and look into the idea as certain countries do offer such services. “I learnt about the concept from Maldives, whereby it’s well-known with islands and beaches, they also included such services in their resorts and villas, which we could do it as well,” he added.
Johari said medical tourism had also contributed in the increase of tourist arrivals and incomes in the past few years. “We had attracted tourists from neighbouring countries, especially Indonesia. In the past, most of them were from Pontianak (Indonesia) but as for now, we do have many (tourists) from Jakarta who came here for medical treatment,” he said.
“Due to the high currency of Singapore dollars, some of the patients (from Indonesia) had also diverted in Sarawak,” he added. He also said two private hospitals in the city had also expanded their premises to cater more patients where it shows the potential of the medical industry in the state.
“Besides, a negotiation on setting up a new (private) specialist hospital is going-on. They are a medical group from outside (foreign) but we are still negotiating on it, so, I can’t reveal too much detail now,” he said. Apart from generating more incomes from tourism industry, the local medical professionals are expected to be given more opportunities.
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