MHTC and MIDA encouraging overseas investment in healthcare

MHTC and MIDA encouraging overseas investment in healthcare.

The Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council (MHTC) is working with the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) to forge opportunities for business and investment in the healthcare industry. MIDA is designed to assist companies that wish to invest in manufacturing and services, and also promotes those projects. The government has taken a number of steps to incentivise private investment in healthcare. To encourage inward investment the government has waived the normal mandate of 30% ownership by indigenous Malays. Healthcare facilities also get specific tax incentives.

The government economic plan seeks to move Malaysia from a middle-income country to a high-income one based on high value sources of growth. Targeted sectors include healthcare and health tourism.

According to Oxford Business Group, new healthcare hubs in Melaka, Penang and Johor are signposted in the 11th Malaysia Plan (the development plan for 2016-2020). These are core geographic centres around which various healthcare services targeted at medical tourists will be positioned. Melaka was identified as a potential healthcare hub due to its high volume of medical tourists. International patients tend to spend more than locals on healthcare. These hubs will provide cost-competitive locations for the main private healthcare providers (IHH Healthcare, KPJ Healthcare, and Ramsay Sime Darby Healthcare).

Beacon International Hospital will open a new 200-bed hospital within the next three years. In 2016 the current one had 20,000 patients- mostly from Malaysia and 5% from Indonesia. The hospital only began accepting medical tourists in 2016 but wants to increase numbers quickly.