GEORGE TOWN: Penang Medical College (PMC) Sdn Bhd plans to provide the necessary human capital for the state to fully explore its potential as a global leader in medical tourism and innovative healthcare.
College president and chief executive officer Prof Stephen Doughty, said that the higher learning institution was looking to offer a Masters in Business Administration with specialisation towards medical tourism. Also on the table are information technology studies to enable the PMC graduates to be ably qualified to contribute to the field of medical tourism.
Besides that, PMC continues to provide a steady pool of doctors to serve in the country, of which a high number have also gone on to specialise in a diversified range of healthcare services and in treating a variety of chronic diseases.
To illustrate the growing importance of medical tourism, the Malaysian Health Travel Council, estimated that about 60% of medical tourists coming to Malaysia ended up in Penang.
In addition to that, by 2015, the largely private hospitals in Penang earned RM390 million in revenue.
And according to Doughty, Penang has yet to reach its potential in medical tourism, as it now predominantly caters to Indonesia.
"Well, besides tapping the market in the region, Penang should reach out to Europe. Imagine coming for a hip surgery and recuperating for two weeks in the sunshine here. It is a strong promotional tool for European medical tourists."
Elaborating further, Doughty said that there was also a need to incorporate better marketing to tap the global marketplace for medical tourism.
He noted that PMC will also be incorporating elements of the Industrial Revolution 4.0 into its curriculum, as well as the latest in information technology and advances in the field to keep their doctors abreast of the latest in treatment solutions.
"Medicine takes a longer time to adapt to technology as it is quite ingrained with certain methods, but over time it will evolve to accept innovation and inventions to ensure that healthcare continues to be an area of quality and distinction."
Doughty was speaking after witnessing PMC scholarship students returning from Ireland, where they received their "traditional white coats" to commence their clinical training at the public hospitals in Penang.
A majority of them would likely be based at the Penang Hospital, the sprawling healthcare complex located near the PMC premises here.
Among the top PMC scholars were Eunice Lim Yuying from the University College Dublin; Julian Sya Mun Kit, Ruebeneshkaran Kirubakaran, and Tan Hoong Yunn from the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland; as well as Sabrina Koay Mei Ann and Olivia Wong Yan Qi.
Penang Medical College is Malaysia’s first accredited private medical school*, owned and established by the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) and University College Dublin (UCD), two world-renowned medical universities in Ireland.
Photo source: Penang Medical College