Telum Talks To… Mr. Mohd Daud Mohd Arif, Chief Judge of Medical Travel Media Awards (MTMA) 2021

Telum Talks To… Mr. Mohd Daud Mohd Arif, Chief Judge of Medical Travel Media Awards (MTMA) 2021

Mr. Daud is also the Chief Executive Officer of Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council.

Tell us a bit more about the background of the award.
The Medical Travel Media Awards (MTMA) is organised by Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council (MHTC). It was first held in 2019 to recognise the local and international media’s instrumental role in promoting Malaysia as a safe and trusted healthcare destination for international healthcare travellers – driving Malaysia from the ‘Hidden Jewel of Asia’, to now ‘The World’s Healthcare Marvel’.

The MTMA is first-in-the-world award that rewards excellence in journalism for media practitioners, freelancers, and this year, we created a new category for influencers to thank their contributions as advocates of the Malaysia Healthcare brand.

What are among the categories available for the contestants?
This year, MTMA 2021 presents six highly competitive categories covering both local and international levels with a brand-new category, ‘Best Medical Travel Influencer’ that is dedicated to influencers and freelancers:

• Best Print Medical Travel Report (Malaysia and International)
• Best Online Medical Travel Report (Malaysia and International)
• Best Broadcast Medical Travel Feature (Malaysia and International)
• Medical Travel Editorial Team of the Year (Malaysia and International)
• Medical Travel Journalist of the Year (Malaysia and International)
• Best Medical Travel Influencer (Malaysia and International)

There's a new installation to this year's categories which is Best Medical Travel Influencer. What inspires this category to be included alongside other categories for this year?
Over the years, content creators have been playing an instrumental role in leveraging their own personal voice, aka the word-of-mouth marketing strategy to share their Malaysia Healthcare experiences to their followers around the world, which are our target audience too. We believe that the introduction of this new category would serve as an appreciation and encouragement for freelancers and social media influencers to develop more creative, insightful content to talk about Malaysia’s healthcare services, further strengthening Malaysia Healthcare’s position as the World’s Healthcare Marvel.

How does MTMA iron out the judging criteria for the award?  
In summary, the judging criteria focuses on content quality, creativity, research techniques, and shareability for digital postings. However, I would encourage interested media, freelancers, and content creators to check out our Award Categories page for the detailed judging criteria, including our recommended topic guidelines, which we hope to inspire them to create and submit a story.

We are in an altered norm since COVID-19 sweeps the globe. How does this affect medical tourism, in your opinion?
Over the past year, the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic, lockdowns, border restrictions, and physical distancing measures have stalled international travel. This has greatly impacted many industries globally including the healthcare travel industry and its value chain including travel and tour agencies, hoteliers, health facilitators, tour guides, logistics providers, and others. As the pandemic remains, our existing patients continue to be at great risk of not receiving a standard of care. Our current mission is to continue rebuilding the sector with continuous brand awareness initiatives in Malaysia and instilling the confidence and trust amongst healthcare travellers to seek treatment back in Malaysia when borders are fully open.

We have been very proactive in staying connected with our partners and stakeholders through webinars, live discussions, etc. Our member hospitals are turning to virtual consultations to keep patients informed while we work on our industry recovery plans, ensuring continuity of care. In addition, we will continue to highlight Malaysia’s healthcare capabilities and strengths as a world-class quality healthcare provider through our digital assets/platforms such as MTMA 2021 and our annual medical travel market intelligence conference insigHT 2021, which centred on forging resilience for the industry.

As the global population are starting to receive their vaccines and traveling are being made possible hopefully soon, what are some forecasted medical travel trends on your end?
The healthcare travel industry’s recovery is dependent on various factors such as domestic and global vaccine rollouts, ease on the inter-state and international borders restrictions and closures, as well as the return of confidence for tourists to start travelling again. When tourism and healthcare travel assume, we are optimistic that Malaysia will have a competitive edge thanks to our ongoing efforts to stay warm with our focus markets and our strong reputation for safe, quality, and affordable healthcare on a global level. We might also see the possibility of COVID-19 vaccine tourism happening in Malaysia, but the priority of vaccination should remain with Malaysians first to ensure herd immunity can be achieved.

What are your hopes for this year's Medical Travel Media Awards 2021?
COVID-19 has disrupted us in many ways, and I am certain our media friends, have also been impacted greatly. Our media frontliners put their lives at risk daily to bring us stories and updates on the pandemic, including healthcare-related stories that move the nation and inspire us to do better in combatting the pandemic. MTMA serves as a platform to honour their contributions and reward them for being our advocates in continuously spreading awareness. In our quest to grow Malaysia’s healthcare travel industry and continue positioning Malaysia as the World’s Healthcare Marvel, we also hope to cultivate more brand advocates who share our passion and commitment.

Lastly, I invite everyone to join us the virtual awards presentation ceremony on 9th December to celebrate our winners and stand a chance to participate in amazing lucky draws. Till then, I urge everyone to stay vigilant towards own health and safety, continue creating award-winning medical travel related stories and become one of our MTMA 2021 winners.

More stories

Telum media database

  • Telum Media
    13 contacts
    91 media requests

Get in touch to hear more

Request demo

Telum alerts

Regular email alerts featuring the latest news and moves from the media industry across Asia Pacific Enjoy exclusive daily interviews with senior journalists and PRs as well as in-house editorial and features from the Telum team

Subscribe for alerts