Medical tourism in Malaysia

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Malaysia reportedly received 641,000 foreign patients in 2011, 728,800 in 2012, 881,000 in 2013 and 882,000 in 2014.[1] Malaysia's medical tourism statistics derive from the reported numbers of all foreign patients treated by Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council (MHTC)–endorsed medical facilities. These figures encompass all registered patients with a foreign passport, which by default also encompass expatriates, migrants, business travellers, and holiday-makers for whom health care may not be the main motive for their stay,[2] the number of Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council (MHTC)]–endorsed medical facilities in Malaysia has increased over the years (e.g., 35 in 2009, 49 in 2011, 63 in 2012, 72 in 2013 and 78 in 2014[3][4][5]), playing a role in increasing the official figures on foreign patients.

Origin of patients[edit]

The majority of the foreign patients seeking medical treatments in Malaysia are from Indonesia, with smaller numbers of foreign patients coming from India, Singapore, Japan, Australia, Europe, the USA and the Middle East;[6][7] in 2008, Indonesians comprised 75% of all foreign patients receiving care in Malaysia; Europeans, 3%; Japanese, 3%; Singaporeans, 1% and citizens from Middle Eastern countries, 1%.[8] By 2011, Indonesians comprised 57% of all foreign patients in Malaysia as the number of patients of other nationalities grew.[9]

Health insurance companies in Singapore have recently permitted their policyholders to be treated in Malaysia where services are cheaper than in Singapore.[10]

Government measures[edit]

As with Thailand, medical tourism started to receive attention from the Malaysian government in the wake of the Asian Financial crisis as a tool for economic diversification in the healthcare and tourism industries.[11][12] The National Committee for the Promotion of Medical and Health Tourism (NCPMHT) was formed by the Ministry of Health in January 1998.[13] Following on this, private hospitals (and some corporatised government-owned hospitals, like the Institut Jantung Negara) – concentrated mainly in the states of Penang, Malacca, Selangor, Sarawak, and Johor – worked alongside and through their respective state governments; private hospital associations; and the Malaysian Ministries of Health, Tourism, and Trade and Industry to promote medical tourism. In 2009, the Ministry of Health set up the Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council (MHTC) to replace the NCPMHT and to serve as the primary agency to promote and develop the country's medical tourism industry as well as position Malaysia as a healthcare hub in the Southeast Asian/ASEAN region.[14]

Accreditation[edit]

The Malaysian government's investment tax allowance has encouraged private health care facilities promoting medical tourism to invest in internationally recognized accreditation schemes (e.g. Joint Commission International and Malaysian Society for Quality in Healthcare) and medical equipment in order to develop ‘world-class’, technology-intensive private health care facilities and ensure care standards considered necessary to attract medical tourists.[15]

Revenue[edit]

Revenue from medical tourism to Malaysia grew from MYR 299 million in 2008 to MYR 511 in 2011 to MYR 683 million in 2013.[16][17][18] Penang's hospitals were responsible for contributing 57% in 2009 and 66% in 2010 of all revenue to the country's medical tourism industry,[19] with the 2010 launch of the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP), which seeks to transform Malaysia into an upper middle-income country with a knowledge-based economy, interest in medical tourism's economic potential grew. The ETP designated health care as one of the country's 12 National Key Economic Areas (NKEAs) deemed to have the potential to spur growth,[20] as part of the health care NKEA, medical tourism is intended to generate MYR 9.6 billion in revenue and MYR 4.3 billion in gross national income and to require 5,300 more medical professionals by 2020. For-profit hospitals are expected to invest MYR 335 million in hospital infrastructure in order to be prepared for 1.9 million foreign patients annually by 2020.[21]

Medical tourism in Malaysia was ranked by Nuwire as one of the top five destinations for health tourism in the world in 2008.[22] Malaysia was also recognised as 2015 'Destination of the Year' by the International Medical Travel Journal (IMTJ).[23]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Statistics". Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council. Retrieved 16 August 2015. 
  2. ^ Meghann Ormond, Wong Kee Mun & Chan Chee Khoon (2014). "Medical tourism in Malaysia: how can we better identify and manage its advantages and disadvantages?". Global Health Action. 
  3. ^ Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council (2012). "Directory" (PDF). Healthcare Malaysia Magazine. 
  4. ^ Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council (2013). "Directory" (PDF). Healthcare Malaysia Magazine. 
  5. ^ Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council (2014). "Directory" (PDF). Healthcare Malaysia Magazine. 
  6. ^ Wong Kee Mun & Ghazali Musa (2012). 'Medical tourism in Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia and India', in C. Michael Hall, Medical Tourism: The Ethics, Regulation, and Marketing of Health Mobility. London: Routledge. p. 176. ISBN 978-0-415-66575-9. 
  7. ^ Meghann Ormond & Dian Sulianti (2014). "More than medical tourism: lessons from Indonesia and Malaysia on South–South intra-regional medical travel". Current Issues in Tourism. 
  8. ^ Meghann Ormond (2013). Neoliberal Governance and International Medical Travel in Malaysia. London: Routledge, p. 82. 
  9. ^ Abu Bakar Suleiman (2013). Medical Tourism – Malaysia (PDF). World Health Summit, Asian region, Singapore, 6–10 April. 
  10. ^ Britnell, Mark (2015). In Search of the Perfect Health System. London: Palgrave. p. 38. ISBN 978-1-137-49661-4. 
  11. ^ Ghazali Musa. "Going Global Medical Tourism" (PDF). 
  12. ^ Meghann Ormond (2013). Neoliberal Governance and International Medical Travel in Malaysia. London: Routledge. 
  13. ^ Chee Heng Leng (2010). "Medical tourism and the state in Malaysia and Singapore". Global Social Policy. 
  14. ^ "Council to promote medical tourism". New Straits Times. 22 July 2009. 
  15. ^ Meghann Ormond, Wong Kee Mun & Chan Chee Khoon (2014). "Medical tourism in Malaysia: how can we better identify and manage its advantages and disadvantages?". Global Health Action. 
  16. ^ Chee Heng Leng (2008). "Ownership, control, and contention: challenges for the future of healthcare in Malaysia". Soc Sci Med. Social Science and Medicine. 66: 2145–56. doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2008.01.036. PMID 18329149. 
  17. ^ Abu Bakar Suleiman (2013). Medical Tourism – Malaysia (PDF). World Health Summit, Asian region, Singapore, 6–10 April. 
  18. ^ Pemandu (2013). "ETP annual report, 2013. Healthcare" (PDF). 
  19. ^ International Medical Travel Journal (2011). "INDONESIA, MALAYSIA: International standards the key to medical tourism". 
  20. ^ Pemandu (2010). "Economic transformation programme: a roadmap for Malaysia". 
  21. ^ Pemandu (2013). "ETP annual report, 2013. Healthcare" (PDF). 
  22. ^ Melanie Yanos (2008). "Top 5 Medical Tourism Destinations". Nuwire Investor. 
  23. ^ International Medical Travel Journal (2015). "The IMTJ Medical Travel Award Winners". International Medical Travel Journal.