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Brunei has potential for medical tourism: Minister
Wednesday, 15 Mar 2023
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BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN (Borneo Bulletin/Asia News Network): Brunei Darussalam has the potential for medical tourism as an industry which can contribute to the country’s economy.
Minister of Health Dato Seri Setia Dr Mohd Isham Jaafar said this in response to a suggestion from Legislative Council (LegCo) member Dato Seri Setia Awang Abdul Rahman Ibrahim to promote and develop Brunei as a medical tourism destination during the March 14 LegCo session.
The minister said that international accreditation, such as Gleneagles JPMC’s Joint Commission International (JCI) – a gold standard for healthcare providers maintaining a high level of patient care and safety – can attract foreign patients.
Gleneagles JPMC is also one of the established cardiac centres in the region, offering leading services as well as facilities comparable with other notable institutions.
Other medical services such as soon to be introduced organ transplant medical procedures, made possible through collaboration with other foreign institutions, will allow Jerudong Park Medical Centre (JPMC) to be one of the few medical institutions providing such medical procedures in the region.
The minister also touched on the potential of specialised centres such as the Pantai Jerudong Specialist Centre (PJSC) Maxillofacial, Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Centre (MFPRSC), The Brunei Cancer Centre and Brunei Neuroscience Stroke and Rehabilitation Centre.
Currently JPMC and PJSC are building a strategy aimed at promoting their medical services internationally and to recognise and study the market to create a competitive ecosystem for medical tourism in the country.
One such initiative is to offer medical packages and services in the Sultanate to interested tourists as one of the many offers provided and promoted by Brunei Tourism.
Tags / Keywords: Brunei , medical , tourism
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Wear MESRA badge with pride, frontliners told
Minister of Primary Resources and Tourism Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Ali bin Apong officially launched the MESRA campaign and logo at the Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism (MPRT) yesterday.
The customer-friendly campaign dubbed MESRA stands for Muhibbah (goodwill), Etika (having good etiquettes), Senyum (service with smile), Ramah (friendly) and Adil (always be fair).
The badge, produced in conjunction with the MESRA campaign, will be distributed to frontliners who have completed the MESRA Islamic values in customer service training.
Deputy Minister Of Finance And Economy (Economy) cum Deputy Chairman of the Brunei Tourism Board Dato Seri Paduka Dr Haji Abdul Manaf bin Haji Metussin and government agency representatives also attended.
Recalling how the initiative came about, Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Ali said, “In 2020, the MPRT through the Tourism Development Department introduced the ‘Islamic Values in Customer Service’ training programme with the intention of improving the quality of customer service by incorporating Islamic ethics and values in accordance with the teachings and practices of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).
“This initiative aligns perfectly with the philosophy of Malay Islamic Monarchy (MIB), which is deeply rooted into the culture of Brunei that has shaped the local way of life, which we see today. This initiative is also part of our efforts to continue promoting our country as a Muslim-friendly tourist destination, with Islamic values a unique selling point to differentiate the Sultanate from other destinations in the region,” he said.
The minister urged frontliners to wear the badge with pride and deliver the best customer service, in accordance with the values and ethics learnt during the training.
The minister is of the belief that the human touch is a key factor that enhances the quality of service, and that friendly service personnel can make the experience more pleasant, enjoyable and guests are more likely to patronise the establishment again – be it a restaurant, shop or even a country.
“You can definitely make a positive impact on your guests with good, friendly service,” he said.
A total of 174 participants from government agencies and private sector stakeholders have participated in the training since last year.
Government agencies were represented by frontline officers from the Royal Customs and Excise Department, Ministry of Finance and Economy; Immigration and National Registration Department, Ministry of Home Affairs; Mosque Affairs Department, Ministry of Religious Affairs; and Museums Department, Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports.
Private sector stakeholders were represented by restaurant owners and managers, hotel frontliners and tour guides, among others.
The Tourism Development Department has held several ‘Islamic Values in Customer Service’ training with the aim of instilling Islamic values among frontliners in the tourism industry.
The trainings were organised in collaboration with SEAMEO Regional Center for Vocational and Technical Education and Training, and Religious Teachers University College of Seri Begawan.
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