Malaysia’s first oncofertility referral center or known as the Advanced Reproductive Centre (ARC) has been formally established at the Canselor Tunku Mukhriz Hospital of National University of Malaysia (HCTM), Kuala Lumpur. It is part of the Malaysian government’s efforts to boost its medical tourism industry and position the country as one of the fertility treatment destinations in the region.
The head of ARC, Dr Abdul Kadir Abdul Karim, said the facility provides procedures such as ovarian tissue cryopreservation (OTC), a new service in Malaysia that stores ovary tissues extracted from cancer patients for fertility treatments and preserves reproductive tissues between 10 to 20 years for family planning purposes. He highlighted the low awareness on fertility preservation and low number of referrals from oncology departments in the country. The Malaysian Preservation Fertility Association (MSFP) was also set up to administer ARC and strengthen the preservation fertility services in Malaysia.
The rates for preservation fertility services at ARC begin from USD 1,200 for long-term maintenance and usage of liquid nitrogen to preserve the tissue. It is relatively affordable compared to rates offered in other private fertility facilities within Malaysia for similar services. Over the last three years, HCTM has carried out an average of 300 to 350 in-vitro fertilization (IVF) cycles, 300 artificial insemination cases and 10,000 reproductive procedures and appointments every year.
The Malaysian Healthcare Travel Council (MHTC) has been working to position Malaysia as a regional fertility and cardiology hub. According to MHTC, Malaysia has one of the highest in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment success rate in the world at about 66% compared with the world average of 50%. One of the key target markets for fertility treatments is China.
(Sources: New Straits Times; Astro Awani)