Malaysia Sets to Diversify her Medical Tourism Services

Malaysia Sets to Diversify her Medical Tourism Services
Malaysia Sets to Diversify her Medical Tourism Services
April 11, 2016

Medical tourism is one of the most prospective sectors of Malaysia economy and it is getting an upward push as the demand for standard private health care service continues to grow across the world. Having imposed herself as a choice for global medical tourism destination, Malaysia is set to deviate from rendering only health services to promoting other wellness procedures.

Foundation of Medical Tourism in Malaysia

Malaysia government began to think of ways to diversify her economy when the July 1997 financial meltdown hit East Asia. This led to formation of The National Committee for the Promotion of Medical and Health Tourism (NCPMHT) in January 1998. Since then Malaysia has been marching forward with the gradual development in medical sector to make herself a reliable hub for medical tourism.

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Marked Development in Malaysian Medical Tourism

A number of factors have favored Malaysia as a medical tourism destination in comparison with her long souring neighbors like Thailand. Firstly, the government policy in Malaysia plays a vital role in the rapid development in medical tourism. The Malaysian government gives tax incentives to investors. This has encouraged private healthcare providing medical tourism to partner with internationally recognized bodies on medical tourism to develop world class healthcare facilities with the right standards that would make them attract tourists.

Reasons behind the Soaring Number of Medical Tourists in Malaysia

The figures on the amount of medical tourists that visit Malaysia in a year are usually a collection of figures from Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council (MHTC) accredited medical facilities (MHTC was set up in 2009 by the Ministry of Health). Records of registered patients with foreign passports are categorized into medical tourists. The irony of this figure is that it may not really represent the intentions of the visitors because transient travelers, migrants, people traveling for business, expatriates, those visiting a family member or friend but falls sick in the process will fall into the list medical tourists. Hence, the real medical tourists are always less than the total number.

How Malaysia can Increase her Medical Tourists

Though Malaysia has outstanding infrastructure in place, she needs more health care resources, specialists and professionals, health care workers and so on to bridge the resource gap. The nation’s 5 years blueprint tagged The 11th Malaysia Plan expected to run from 2016 to 2020 shows the government will focus on making three key regions as health care hubs namely Penang, Malacca and Johor Bahur (this is a scaling down from the initial regions the project began with; Penang, Malacca, Selangor, Sarawak, and Johor Bahur).

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Expansion of Source Market

80 percent of Malaysian medical tourists in the year 2015 came from neighboring countries including Thailand and Singapore, her major competitors. As of 2011, 57 percent of Malaysian medical tourists were from Indonesia. However, through promotional campaigns, private and public sector are expanding the market to as far as the Middle East and Japan. In a mid-January report, International living ranked Malaysia top four medical tourism destinations based on post procedure recuperation, cost competitiveness, service quality and accessibility.

This announcement created an awareness of cheap quality healthcare which attracted more tourists to them. Recently, Singapore health insurance policy began to allow her policy holders to travel to Malaysia for medical care because of lower cost.

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Key Features of the Article

  • Diversification of economy in Malaysia strengthens her medical tourism.
  • Overwhelming development in medical sector within last 18 years.
  • Unbelievable number of medical tourists visiting Malaysia every year.
  • Malaysian Government has taken plausible role in the development of medical tourism.
  • Many external factors pushing Malaysian medical tourism forward.
  • Three popular medical tourism hubs in Malaysia.
  • Malaysia was declared as one of the top 4 Asian Countries for Medical Tourism.
  • Cheap but quality health care facilities in Malaysia compared to other nations.
  • Helpful initiatives for foreign people to getting health care service in Malaysia.

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