Kuching: Cooperatives and businesses have been asked to explore the possibilities of investing in health tourism, which is gaining popularity among visitors to the state.
Tourism Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg said there are many opportunities to explore as Kuching and Sibu already have specialist centres.
"Four major specialist centres have been known to serve this segment, and they mostly come from a neighbouring country, which is Indonesia," said Abang Johari, who named the Rejang Medical Centre, Timberland Medical Centre, Kuching Specialist Hospital and Normah Medical Specialist Centre.
"This ever-expanding segment should be seen as an opportunity and we hope that those who specialise in this line will look into setting up more specialist centres here."
He pointed out that a significant number of the four million tourists entering the state this year underwent medical treatment.
"Choices such as Singapore for medical treatment have escalated but now we have specialists from there flying over here and this is why we have increasing numbers," he explained when opening the Koperasi Koppes Sarawak Berhad (Koppes) Haemodialysis Centre yesterday.
He praised Koppes for expanding its business, which also includes construction and plantations.
"The state government realises the need to build at least 20,000 units of houses to accommodate the needs for the next five years and the number cannot be achieved without assistance from the private sector," he said.
"Koppes has also shown its capabilities to diversify its income with the venture towards the rubber and oil palm nursery business. This will definitely provide industries with the basic needs and I am sure Koppes will succeed in this line," he said, adding that cooperatives should also consider venturing into the furniture industry.
Meanwhile, Koppes chairman Tan Sri Datuk Amar Abdul Aziz Husain said in his speech that the haemodialysis centre has five treatment machines.
He said the centre's strategic location should give it an advantage among diabetics requiring dialysis.
--Courtesy of The Borneo Post Online