Malaysia has received recognition over the years for its medical tourism industry, yet many still aren’t aware that it’s a viable option…

Malaysia has been voted the country with the “Best Healthcare in the World” by International Living’s Annual Global Retirement Index for three straight years, 2015-2017. They won the International Medical Travel Journal’s (IMTJ) Medical Travel Destination of the Year award three years in a row, 2015-2017. These awards have major merits to back them.

The Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council’s (MHTC) CEO, Sherene Azli, has said that the number of medical travelers have increased year-on-year since 2015 as the numbers grew from 860,000 in 2015 to 900,000 in 2016.

“We exceeded RM1 billion in revenue last year (2016) and this year we target RM1.3 billion in revenue (2017) from medical tourism,” says Sherene Azli.

According to Transparency Market Research (TMR), “persistent government activities synergizing the medical tourism industry and lower cost of medical services compared to their counterparts in developed nations are boosting the Malaysia medical tourism sector”.

But what else is driving this growth?

Are there any constraints to this progress?

What medical segments are offered there?

And what does the future of the industry look like?

Malaysia’s Medical Tourism: Drivers & Constraints

Medical tourism is considered as one of the 12 national key economic areas (NKEAs) in Malaysia, which is a chief driver of the market. The country has put a major focus on the quality of the doctors they bring in. The TMR report states, “Malaysia has some of the best-trained doctors in Asia – and the majority of them were trained in the US, Australia, or the UK. All of them speak English too, and that takes a lot of the stress away from what is already a stressful situation.”

A summary of the growth drivers, according to TMR, include:

  • High quality treatment at low cost
  • Strong healthcare infrastructure
  • Low language barrier
  • Increasing government initiatives for medical tourism
  • Excellent recuperation facilities
  • Improved transportation

There are also possible threats that could potentially kill the growth of medical tourism in Malaysia.

These constraints include:

  • Medical inflation
  • Challenges from low revenue generated per patient
  • Soaring healthcare costs
  • Burden on Malaysia’s healthcare system

Even with these constraints, Malaysia has positioned themselves as a preferred country for medical travelers, and ultimately, boosted Malaysia’s medical tourism market.


Malaysia’s Medical Tourism Market Segments

  • Cardio (Internal medicine)
    • Angiogram
    • Angioplasty
    • ASD closure
    • Atherectomy
    • Pacemakers
    • Radiofrequency ablation
    • Watchmen device implants
    • Cardio (Internal medicine) consultation
    • Others
  • Cardiothoracic Surgery
    • Heart Valve Replacement
    • Coronary artery bypass
    • Heart transplant
    • Stenting
    • Cardiothoracic consultation
    • Other Procedures (Cardiomyoplasty, PTMC Valve)
  • Oncology
    • Bone Marrow Transplant
    • Oncology consultation
    • Other procedures
  • Fertility treatments (IVF)
    • Embryo Transplants
    • Fertility treatments (IVF) consultation
    • Other procedures
  • Orthopedic treatment
    • Arthroplasty
    • Arthroscopy
    • Fracture repair
    • Hip replacement
    • Internal fixations
    • Knee replacement
    • Physiotherapy
    • Orthopedic consultation
  • Dental treatment
    • Dental Implants
    • Dental treatment consultation
    • Other procedures
  • Ophthalmology
    • Corneal Transplants
    • Ophthalmology consultation
    • Other procedures
  • Aesthetics / Cosmetic Surgery
    • Eyelid
    • Hair Transplants
    • Breast Augmentation Procedures
    • Rhinoplasty
    • Face Lift
    • Liposuction
    • Tummy Tuck
    • Aesthetics / Cosmetic consultation
    • Other procedures (eg. Botox, Fillers, Laser Treatments)
  • Neurology
    • Brain Surgery
    • Neurology consultation
    • Other procedures
  • Regenerative Therapy (Stem cells)
    • Stem Cell Transplant
    • Regenerative Therapy (Stem cells) consultation
    • Other procedures
  • Medical check – ups (Health screening)
  • Others
    • Kidney and Liver Transplants
    • Other general consultation
    • Other procedures

According to the TMR report, the dental treatment, aesthetics/cosmetic surgery, and orthopedic treatment segments are the biggest earners in terms of revenue.

The Future Outlook for Malaysia’s Medical Tourism Industry

Yahoo Finance reports that the Malaysia medical tourism market is expected to register a CAGR of 30.5% during the forecast period from 2016-2024. Regardless of the constraints of the industry’s growth, Sherene Azli, the CEO of MHTC, believes in these forecasts.

“Malaysia has the ecosystem and infrastructure to provide quality end-to-end healthcare systems and services that are globally competitive,” says Azli.

She adds, “Having created awareness that Malaysia is a viable option as a medical tourism destination, we must now raise that awareness to an unprecedented level. We have much work to do.”

If you have any questions about the different aforementioned treatments, make an appointment with Beverly Wilshire Medical Centre to see what Malaysia and its excellent healthcare system can do for you.

  • KENANGA TOWER (Cosmetic Surgery, Aesthetic Medicine, Healthy Aging, Hair Restoration, Fat Reduction) • 3 DAMANSARA (Aesthetic Medicine, Fat Reduction) • JALAN MAAROF (Aesthetic Medicine, Fat Reduction) • MENARA LANDMARK (Cosmetic Surgery, Aesthetic Medicine, Healthy Aging, Hair Restoration, Fat Reduction)