Medical tourism working out well for Malaysia
Published By : 31 Jul 2014 | Published By : QYRESEARCH
Malaysia has always been a tourist destination, attracting huge crowds on account of its malls and beaches. But visitors have a new reason to go to this Southeast Asian country. Malaysia is now being branded as a nation offering the best and most affordable healthcare. Although fairly new in the market, Malaysia is already eyeing the world’s medical-tourism crown by overtaking its neighbors.
The overall medical tourism industry generates around USD 38 billion to USD 55 billion in a year with Thailand and Singapore emerging as the top players. Malaysia hopes to beat them by targeting the less affluent patients with economically-priced healthcare facilities. Singapore’s inability to cope with the flood of patients and Thailand’s fading charm owing to high medical care cost could work in Malaysia’s favor. Moreover, most international tourists need not fill landing forms which makes Malaysia one of the easiest countries to enter.
In just five years, the number of foreigners seeking healthcare in Malaysia has doubled to 770,134 in 2013. Singapore had an inflow of 850,000 visitors in 2012 and Thailand 2.5 million, also including resident expatriates and spa stays.
Most patients coming to Malaysia for treatment are from Indonesia. This is followed by the Middle East and North Africa. These are regions that have inadequate healthcare facilities or long waiting lists, and have seen a surge of new money.
In 2009, the ministry of health in Malaysia established the Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council in order to develop and promote the country’s medical tourism industry. Today Malaysia is one of the top five destinations for medical tourism in the world.