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Kindly be informed that MM2H Centre has discontinued the reduction of Fixed Deposit placement based on property purchase worth RM1 million and above in Malaysia. Also discontinued is the MM2H...
Dhaka-KL to work together in healthcare Print E-mail
Friday, 04 March 2011 00:00

Dhaka, Feb 3 ( – Bilateral relations between Malaysia and Bangladesh received a boost as the health ministers of both South-East Asian countries have promised to work together.

Manpower development, joint research, academic exchange and developing the pharmaceutical industry were the key areas of cooperation and collaborations between these two countries, having similar healthcare systems.

The ministers made their commitment to work jointly on Thursday while opening the two-day Malaysian healthcare expo at Dhaka Sheraton Hotel.

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was also signed between a Dhaka-based healthcare facilitator Guardian Network and University of Malaya Specialist Centre at the function to promote collaboration in the field of research and medical education.

Liow Tiong Lai, health minister of Malaysia, said the Malaysian delegation was in Bangladesh not only to promote healthcare but also to pave the way for a future 'win-win' collaboration for both countries.

Bangladesh's health minister AFM Ruhal Haque welcomed Malaysian healthcare in the country and said "it will boost our long-standing brotherly relationship."

"We have plenty of things to do together," he said, emphasising support in developing the nursing sector as Bangladesh grapples with a skeleton number of nurses. The nurse and population ratio in Bangladesh is 1: 5,782 while it is 1: 600 in Malaysia.

"Our nursing sector is still very weak. I know Malaysia is doing very well," he said.

The Malaysian health minister confirmed that his country would support Bangladesh in this regard. "We have 75 nursing training centres and 140,000 nurses. Our nurses are also working overseas."

In addition, Lai said he was also looking for opportunities for further collaboration in pharmaceutical, medical training and medical exchange programmes.

"We registered many Bangladeshi drugs in Malaysia market. We hope Bangladesh will register some of our drugs in its market," he said.

Haque said there was no problem in registering Malaysian drugs for the Bangladesh market if they were quality products.

He also urged Malaysia to import more drugs from Bangladesh as the country was going to set a WHO-accredited international standard laboratory to test drugs.

"Any drug you import will be tested and you will get a quality drug," the minister assured his Malaysia counterpart.

However, Abdul Muktadir, secretary general of Bangladesh Association of Pharmaceutical Industry (BAPI) told that there were a particular set of rules to register a drug in the Bangladesh market.

"We are open to embrace any product, but it must be an innovative product," he said, adding that there were differences between Bangladesh and Malaysia drug-market.

"We are drug exporting country, but Malaysia still a drug importing country," he added.

Nine internationally accredited private hospitals of Malaysia are participating the fair, organised by Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council (MHTC), a government body entrusted to promote Malaysia healthcare.

Lai said Malaysian healthcare has solely been promoted by word of mouth and was not known to the global community as a destination for healthcare.

In spite of minimum marketing from individual hospitals, he said, revenue in private hospitals have grown from US$17.7m, with around 103,000 medical tourists, in 2003 to US$124m in 2010, with about 400,000 healthcare travellers.

The Malaysian health minister concluded these facts "clearly show that Malaysia is fast growing as an option for many healthcare travellers for its reputable standard for high quality care in the region."

He said, the Bangladesh Mission in Malaysia would process speedy visas for healthcare travellers from Bangladesh, the nationality which comprises of the second largest group in the 'Malaysia my second home' scheme.

Some 7,000 Bangladeshi students are currently studying in different disciplines in Malaysia.

Medial experts say, over 500,000 patients seek overseas treatment every year from Bangladesh, despite the boom in the local healthcare industry.

In addition to the display of healthcare facilities, seminars on different issues and expert physicians' consultation are being focused on in the Malaysia healthcare expo.

The fair is open for all from 9am to 8pm every day with no entry free.


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