Why does Malaysia become one of the most favourite destinations for medical tourism? - GO.CARE Blog
Why does Malaysia become one of the most favourite destinations for medical tourism?
Author: Hiền Tăng
Review Date: August 5, 2018 | Last Modified: August 22, 2018
Why does Malaysia become one of the most favourite destinations for medical tourism?

When mentioning a medical trip to Asia, we cannot forget Malaysia. But why patients all over the world prefer Malaysia for a medical tourism?

1. Lots of national and international standard hospitals

With more than 800 hospitals, Malaysia can provide patients with plenty of health care services similar to developed countries. All of the private organizations in Malaysia is licensed according to Private Healthcare Facilities and Services Act 1998 and Regulation of Private Healthcare Utilities and Services 2016.

Several private hospitals are recognized by national and/or international assessment agencies which are recognized by ISQua – International Society for Quality in Health Care, for example, Malaysian Society for Quality in Health, Joint Commission International of United Nations and many other international assessment agencies. By this way, patients are ensured receiving the best quality and safety.

In Malaysia, there is the Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council, which is a part of the Malaysia Department of Health, relates to everything about medical tourism in Malaysia.

2. Malaysia provides healthcare services that have the same quality but the price is lower, about 60 – 80% compared to other developed countries.

The special thing in healthcare system making Malaysia an attractive destination is that in spite of modern facilities and well-trained staff, the treatment cost is quite reasonable. There is no difference between local patients and foreign ones. The government stipulates a general price for each kind of diseases, which is applied for state and private hospitals. Other living expenses are quite reasonable regardless of central cites like Kuala Lumpur or other religions.

For instance, while a losing weight procedure in America costs up to 30000 USD, in Malaysia it is just priced at an average cost of 9000 USD and lower 60% than in Australia. The average cost of in vitro fertilization in Malaysia is lower 65-80% than in USA and even than in Thailand, Singapore and Korea.

3. Well-trained doctors and healthcare staff

Doctor staff in Malaysia is highly appreciated for their professional knowledge and trained at the countries that have strong development in healthcare field such as US, UK, Australia, especially advance in cancer, gynecology, cardiovascular and organ transplantation. It can be said that Malaysia is one of the nations that have the most advanced and well-equipped healthcare industry.

A general check-up includes many tests, ultrasound to make early screening for cancer, find the abnormal signals of health condition such as unstable blood pressure, blood sugar, concentration of cholesterol, problems of mentality, cardiovascular, etc. Besides, doctor staff in Malaysia can speak English fluently so there is no major language barrier between them and patients.

4. Various and common advanced treatments

The top common treatments of medical tourism in Malaysia for tourists: dental surgery, plastic surgery, cardiac surgery, reproductive treatment, ENT, orthopedic surgery, cancer, urology. Patients often choose medical tourism in Malaysia because of high-skilled experts, modern healthcare facilities, excellent medical services and health recovery basis and waiting list. Most of medical tourists in Malaysia come from US and UK, Indonesia, Singapore, Japan, Australia and Western Asian countries.

In 2018, Malaysia will focus on strategic fields such as orthopedics, oncology, In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) and hematology.

5. Top hospitals in Malaysia for medical tourism

Penang Centre of Medical Tourism (Jalan Burma, Malaysia)

Recognized for the first time by JCI in November 2007 and established in 1924, this non-profit hospital is totally owned and controlled by a Malaysia company. From that time, it becomes a healthcare centre for universities which uses the newest medical equipment and procedures.

Twin Towers medical centre (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)

Located in the Petronas Twin Tower Complex at the center of Kuala Lumpur, this indoor centre is the biggest stay-in general hospital at the first shopping mall in Malaysia which serves for local and foreign patients.

Institut Jangtung Negara

Also known as IJN, is the top heart specialist institute in Malaysia. It is recognized by JCI as a provider for heart and chest healthcare service for adult and children, which combines with top international healthcare organization and uses the newest techniques in cardiovascular care.

International Specialist Eye Centre – ISEC (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)

Recognized by JCI for the first time in February 2009, ISEC is center of excellence in ophthalmology, specifically in clinical care in Malaysia.

6. Healthcare system is internationally recognized through many awards.

Medical tourism is one of the most fast-growing industries in Malaysia. The ranking index of International Living reflects the effect in Malaysia healthcare industry. It was awarded “World’s best healthcare system” prize according to the annual statistics of Annual Global Retirement Index, “2016 Frost & Sullivan Asia Pacific Travel Council of the Year – Medical Tourism” prize at the 2016 Asia Pacific Healthcare & Medical Tourism Awards Gala from 2015 to 2017. Malaysia has also received the award of  “Health and medical tourism: Destination of the year” from International Medical Travel Journal (IMTJ) in two consecutive years (2015 and 2016). Along with these prizes, private hospitals in Malaysia did beat the hospitals from other advanced healthcare systems such as France, Germany and Singapore to win 5/11 categories of IMTJ Award.

7. Five-star services with major focus on patients

Hospitals in Malaysia focus on improving the aestheticism and space that create a comfortable and relaxed feeling, which is rare even in European hospitals. Besides, you will feel secure because these hospitals a staff to pick up patients and their relatives from the airport, as well as support tourists coming for the first time or feeling strange to Malaysia. Moreover, treatment service in Malaysia is really quick and in good order, so patients’ stay is not time-consuming. Patients from developed countries can save their time in waiting for examination and treatment.

8. Advanced techniques and facilities

Healthcare in Malaysia before the colonization just focused on traditional treatment. The beginning of colonialism brought the modern Western medical industry to this country. After the Independence day of August 1957, Britain colonial healthcare system was converted to solve the major problems as well as meet the demands on healthcare policy. Malaysia invested, constructed and improved several healthcare establishments based on standards of many countries like UK, Australia, Ireland, etc. It also combined with Thailand and Singapore to exchange and transfer technology and patients. Following is the survey about assessment on some basic standards in Malaysia healthcare service. (Source: Numbeo).

9. Rapid growth rate of medical tourism in South East Asia

In 2017, the number of medical tourists increased up to one million, and continue to rise in the following years. Local medical tourism recorded the growth rate of 30% every year from 860000 in 2015 to 900000 in 2016. Turnover from medical tourism surprisingly reached one billion RM in 2016.

10. Malaysia focuses on investment in medical tourism

Like Thailand, medical tourism attracts attention from Malaysia government as a tool to diversify the economy in healthcare and tourism industry. National Committee for the Promotion of Health Tourism (NCPHT) was established by the Department of Health in January 1998. Afterward, private hospitals (and some governmental hospitals, like Institut Jantung Negara) mainly located in Penang, Malacca, Selangor, Sarawak and Johor worked together and through corresponding state government, an association of private hospitals, Malaysia Department of Health, Tourism, Commerce and Industry to promote medical tourism.

In 2009, Department of Health established Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council (MHTC) to take the place of NCPHT and become the main agency to promote medical tourism industry of the nation as well as take position as a healthcare center in South East Asia. For the non-stop renovation and struggle for excellence, MHTC has become the platform for government agencies that bring Malaysia to the global map.

Choosing the best Malaysian hospitals and clinics at GO.CARE for your next medical trip.

The IMTJ Medical travel Award winners in 2015. http://awards.imtj.com/results/2015-winners/. Accessed on August 1st , 2018.

MHTC Wins Medical Tourism Award At 2016 Asia Pacific Healthcare & Tourism Awards Gala. https://www.mhtc.org.my/mhtc-wins-medical-tourism-award-at-2016-asia-pacific-healthcare-tourism-awards-gala/. Accessed on August 1st , 2018.