Malaysia lobbies Indonesia to rebuild medical travel

The Melaka state government has asked Indonesia to open the Sultan Syarif Kasim II Airport in Pekanbaru, Riau for international flights, especially the Melaka-Pekanbaru route, which has a high demand from medical tourists to go to Malaysia, mainly to the state of Melaka.

Indonesians comprised the biggest number of tourists visiting Melaka in 2019 with a total of 552,813. From these numbers, 100,234 people were medical tourists out of a total of 136,361 foreign medical tourists who sought medical treatment in Melaka.

There is big potential for Melaka in encouraging this move, as Indonesia is a significant source market of medical travellers seeking treatment at the four specialist hospitals in the state. Medical fees are much lower than those of hospitals in Singapore and Jakarta.

A new “Melaka For Asean” promotion campaign is seeking to attract the Indonesian community in Riau to travel and explore Melaka.

The Indonesian government has decided that foreigners are not required to present COVID-19 health insurance upon entry, effective as of 8th June 2022.The removal of the obligation for foreigners to prove ownership of health insurance which includes COVID-19 financing was removed due to the declining trend in international and national COVID-19 cases.