(File pix) The KPJ Sabah hospital in Luyang, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. KPJ Hospitals aims to turn Sabah into a healthcare tourism destination by providing world-class medical services to visitors from Southeast Asian nations. Pix by Malai Rosmah Tuah

KOTA KINABALU: KPJ Hospitals aims to turn Sabah into a healthcare tourism destination by providing world-class medical services to visitors from Southeast Asian nations.

East Malaysia KPJ Hospitals executive director Mah Lai Heng said the private hospital hoped to take the lead to develop medical tourism in the state.

"Moving in line with the national direction and the state of Sabah, we want to upgrade ourselves. Sabah is a touristic destination with beautiful mountain, sea and nature but why are we not there with health tourism.

"Sarawak is actually very much ahead of Sabah on this. We've gone around to talk to people...Earlier on, we were not ready because we didn't have healthcare providers (in Sabah) that are ready.

"However, at this point of time the communities are ready and we have a lot of choices such as KPJ Sabah, KPJ Damai, Gleaneagle Hospital and Jesselton Hospital. We are all friendly competitors that are able to provide (health tourism services)," she said during luncheon media engagement at the KPJ Sabah Specialist Hospital here.

Mah also said KPJ Sabah was the only private hospital in the state to provide radiotheraphy services supported by renowned oncologists in, adding radiotheraphy is the key service in the state.

She also said KPJ Hospitals hopes to engage with neighbouring countries with Indonesia already on board and Phillipines will come in soon.

"We are also going to penetrate into China market, hopefully next week when we fly there with our management team to engage and get more input.

"When people start to come in for health tourism, it's not only for us but whole of Sabah. So we hope to take the lead to get everyone onboard to make Sabah as a point of health tourism."

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