For 15 years, Malaysia has steadily worked towards building a strong healthcare tourism sector. In the last 10 years, revenue from healthcare tourism increased tenfold. This makes it one of the fastest growing sectors in the country.
In 2012, growth was 16.2% and in 2013 this was 15.8% .The Malaysian government is optimistically targeting 10 % annual revenue growth in both 2014 and 2015.
The biggest source of business is nearby Indonesia partly due to the lack of health care in Indonesia, partly due to price, and partly due to the comfort that Indonesians have in going to a fellow Muslim country with halal food.
Another key source of business is Singapore, due to the overcrowding in Singapore hospitals and the much higher medical costs in Singapore.
Just over half of Malaysia’s business is in the state of Penang. The state recorded revenue of RM370 million in 2013, a 20% increase on 2012.
Dr. Mary Wong Lai Lin of the Malaysian Healthcare Travel Council (MHTC) comments,” Malaysia is the only country in the region where healthcare tourism is promoted by the government.” The ministry of health plays an important role in ensuring that private health facilities country adhere to all the necessary safety and quality requirements by regulating them through the Private Healthcare Facilities and Services Act 1998 and Regulations 2006.