The Medical Travel Media Awards (MTMA) 2023

The Medical Travel Media Awards (MTMA) 2023.


MTMA 2023: Celebrating Medical Travel Journalism’s Finest

The Medical Travel Media Awards 2023 honours the media and influencer’s role in promoting Malaysia as a leading medical travel destination.

The Medical Travel Media Awards 2023 honours the media and influencer’s role in promoting Malaysia as a leading medical travel destination.

Kuala Lumpur, 18 December 2023: The Medical Travel Media Awards (MTMA) 2023, organised by the Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council (MHTC), culminated in a grand event that celebrated the best in medical travel journalism. Officiated by the Deputy Minister of Health Malaysia, the Honourable Dato Lukanisman Awang Sauni, MTMA 2023 serves to recognise outstanding reports and articles by journalists, editors, producers, media organisations and influencers for their contributions in promoting Malaysia’s medical travel industry.

The Deputy Minister of Health Malaysia, the Honourable Dato Lukanisman Awang Sauni.
The Deputy Minister of Health Malaysia, the Honourable Dato Lukanisman Awang Sauni.

Since its inception in 2019, MTMA has evolved into a global competition, now in its fourth edition, it continues to celebrate narratives that showcase diverse perspectives within Malaysia’s vibrant healthcare landscape.

Amidst fierce competition from over 400 entries across eight (8) countries, including Malaysia, eight (8) remarkable international journalists and influencers emerged triumphant at the Medical Travel Media Awards (MTMA) 2023. Their outstanding contributions secured victories in their respective categories, each earning prestigious accolades and substantial cash prizes totalling over MYR100,000 (~USD21,400).


Alongside these individual accolades, Radio Televisyen Malaysia (RTM), Malaysia and Liputan6, Indonesia were recognised with the prestigious ‘Best Medical Travel Editorial Team of the Year Award, for the local and international categories respectively. This is an acknowledgement of their vital role in promoting Malaysia as a leading destination for healthcare travel globally.

Dr. Mohamed Ali Abu Bakar, Chief Executive Officer of MHTC, highlighted the event’s global impact and the critical role of journalism. “MTMA aims to acknowledge the media’s role in driving the limelight on Malaysia’s healthcare travel industry. The diverse submissions from countries like Australia, Bangladesh, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Maldives, Singapore and United States of America this year showcase our accomplishment in establishing Malaysia as a leader in healthcare travel. It is through the lens of these skilled and committed journalists that our story reaches and resonates with audiences globally,” he remarked.

Dr. Mohamed Ali Abu Bakar, Chief Executive Officer of MHTC
Dr. Mohamed Ali Abu Bakar, Chief Executive Officer of Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council.

“Malaysia’s medical travel sector stands out due to our state-of-the-art facilities, expert medical professionals, and competitive pricing. Our hospitals are equipped with the latest technologies, and our doctors are globally recognised for their expertise. Additionally, we emphasise on a seamless healthcare travel experience and patient-centric approach, which is a cornerstone of our healthcare philosophy. As of October, this year, the industry has achieved over RM1.7 billion in revenue, surpassing the initial target set for 2023. We are optimistic that we will achieve RM2.0 billion by end of this year, two years ahead of our initial projection, setting a new record high for the industry. This growth has not only solidified the industry’s recovery but also catalysed a significant spillover effect into other industries. This achievement would not have been possible without the commitment of the media and influencers, who both play equal important roles in rebuilding and spreading awareness about the Malaysia Healthcare brand,” he highlighted.

The esteemed panel of judges for the Medical Travel Media Awards (MTMA) 2023, tasked with evaluating submissions across multiple categories, was chaired by Professor Dr. Kiranjit Kaur, a renowned figure in media and public relations. 

“The quality and diversity of entries this year were truly remarkable, each distinguished by their in-depth research, compelling storytelling, and unique insights. These winning reports not only showcased exceptional journalistic talent but also highlighted the innovative and world-class healthcare solutions that Malaysia offers, reinforcing its growing prominence as a medical travel destination,” said Prof. Dr. Kiranjit. 


Other judges included: Ilan Geva, President of Ilan Geva & Friends Inc and an authority in branding and consumer behaviour from the United States; Dr. Ainal Rhyshikin Yusoff, a well-known medical influencer from Malaysia; Dr. Izzal Asnira Zolkepli, Associate Professor at Universiti Sains Malaysia an expert in media studies from Malaysia; Hanizah Hamzah, Head of Television at the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU), a seasoned media practitioner from Malaysia; Jegathesan Muniandy, Senior Correspondent at Agency France-Presse (AFP) based in Malaysia; Cristian Rahadiansyah, an experienced journalist with a 19-year career from Indonesia; and Chris Seto, Managing Director of Dataxet:nama from Malaysia. 

For MTMA 2023, the awards submissions were open from 14th February 2022 until 1st November 2023. With 12 highly competitive categories for both international and local media and influencers, the submissions were evaluated through a gruelling judging process focusing on criteria such as quality of research, technique and presentation, creativity, content and for digital, social presence and shareability.

Journalists and influencers from leading news agencies and publications across the globe participated, each contributing their unique perspectives and insightful narratives to the competition. Among the esteemed news agencies that participated include Liputan6 (Indonesia), Kumparan (Indonesia), Channel News Asia (Singapore), Astro Awani (Malaysia), The Star (Malaysia), The Edge (Malaysia), ABC Radio (Australia) and The Bruneian (Brunei), to name just a few.

This year, MTMA2023 crowned eight (8) winners, one each for international and local media, in six categories:

1. Best Print Medical Travel Feature (RM8,000 each and trophy)

2. Best Online Medical Travel Feature (RM8,000 each and trophy)

3. Best Broadcast Media Travel Feature (RM8,000 each and trophy)

4. Best Medical Travel Influencer (RM8,000 each and trophy)

The top prizes with cash prizes of RM10,000 per category:

1. Medical Travel Journalist of the Year

2. Medical Travel Editorial Team of the Year

“As we bring MTMA 2023 to a close, we are filled with gratitude towards our sponsors and partners such as, Damansara Specialist 2, Dataxet:Nama, Island Hospital, KPJ Johor and Sunway Healthcare whose invaluable support made this event a resounding success. Looking ahead, we are excited about the potential for growth and innovation within Malaysia’s medical travel sector. Our aim is to continually elevate our status as a top global destination for healthcare, and this journey is made possible with the collective efforts of our partners and the insightful perspectives of the media community,” said Dr. Ali.

For more information on MTMA, visit  or its Facebook page at To find out more about Malaysia Healthcare and its services, including healthcare travel, visit

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