Hospitals in Malaysia

How Hospitals in Malaysia have been Trouncing Regional Competitors in Medical Tourism

Hospitals in Malaysia have seen a steady increase in foreign patients in recent years.

Medical tourism in Malaysia is slowly beginning to gain headway and you may be very surprised to know that medical tourism numbers in Malaysia are beginning to approach the levels seen in Thailand.

Moreover, hospitals in Malaysia have even been able to compete with hospitals in Singapore in some areas and they have even been able to receive more foreign patients. Malaysia’s healthcare industry offers ample opportunities for American medical tourists that can benefit from receiving low cost medical services from highly skilled doctors in Malaysia. Americans can save money on healthcare by traveling to Malaysia for a variety of procedures, including knee replacement, hip replacement and heart bypass surgeries.


Why should you consider Hospitals in Malaysia?

Hospitals in Malaysia offer low cost and transparent pricing, which makes it an ideal choice for medical tourists from America that are looking to escape the high cost of healthcare. Malaysia is a relatively under-recognized destination that can allow people from the United States, Europe and Australia to save between 40-80% on the cost of a surgery.  This can allow the country to compete with top medical tourism destinations such as Thailand and India, while it also can easily undercut hospitals in Singapore in terms of cost.  One of the reasons costs are so low in Malaysia is because the price of healthcare is regulated by the Ministry of Health of Malaysia to ensure that citizens and even medical tourists receive quality healthcare at a fair price. Malaysia is also a very well known tourist destination, as it is ranked 9th in the world for tourism arrivals and is ranked 25th in the world by the Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report in 2017. This makes Malaysia that much more appealing for non-critical treatments as Americans can fly to Malaysia, have a complex surgery performed, convalesce in a holiday resort and still come out ahead by saving over 50% overall on costs versus doing the surgery in the US. The American Medical Journal ranked Malaysia as one of the world’s top 10 destinations for medical tourism. 


Hospitals in Malaysia

Source: Medisetter/Asean Post/IMTJ/The Malaysia Reserve


Hospitals in Malaysia are well known for their high quality facilities and ability to treat more advanced conditions, which has made the country a natural magnet for patients in neighboring Asian countries such as Indonesia which lack a developed domestic healthcare ecosystem.  Many hospitals in Malaysia have been accredited by international organizations such as the Joint Commission International ( JCI) and Australian Council on Healthcare Standards (ACHS). Doctors in Malaysia have also received training from multiple countries in the world, particularly the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and India.  This ensures that hospitals in Malaysia are able to meet western standards and that doctors in Malaysia are very effectively able to treat medical tourists from America. Moreover, many doctors in Malaysia are multilingual, given Malaysia’s cultural diversity, and can speak other languages such as Mandarin, Bahasa Indonesian, Tamil and Hindi.  

The best hospitals in Malaysia include its 8 JCI-accredited hospitals, which offer a wide variety of options for western medical tourists.


hospitals in Malaysia


Hospitals in Malaysia are increasingly attracting foreign patients

Because of all of these aforementioned advantages, medical tourism in Malaysia has been booming, which has been driven primarily by medical tourists from Asia.  However, there is increased room for Malaysia to  attract American medical tourists. According to the country’s Ministry of Finance, Malaysia is expected to receive 2 million medical tourists by 2020.  Around 1 million medical tourists visited the country in 2017 and 60% of these medical tourists were from Indonesia.  The Malaysian Healthcare Travel Council will focus on targeting several markets in South East Asia and the Middle East, as it focuses on establishing Malaysia as a key medical tourism destination.

The government is very supportive of medical tourism and recognizes that it can become a key driver for the growth of the healthcare industry and even the economy in general.  One way that the government has demonstrated this has been by recently exempting the 6% goods and services tax that used to be imposed on medical bills for foreign patients. This displays the country’s support for medical tourism and can allow hospitals in Malaysia to attract more foreign patients, especially patients from nearby countries.  Moreover, Malaysia also introduced a 30 day evisa for Chinese tourists for whom Malaysia is a favorite medical travel destination. Some of the main source countries that see outbound travel to Malaysia for medical tourism include Indonesia, the United Kingdom, India, the Philippines, China, Singapore, Australia, Japan and the United States. We see the obvious appeals that Malaysia offers to regional peers in Asia and also project that Malaysia will be able to attract more medical tourists from America that are actively searching for solutions to save money on healthcare.

According to the Asean post Malaysia’s medical tourism industry has delivered a CAGR of 16-17% during the past 5 years, which is slightly higher than the Asia Pacfic average of 12-14%.  Revenue from medical tourism in Malaysia soared from US$ 127 million in 2011 to US$362 million during 2018 and medical tourist arrivals will rise by around 25% this year.  Malaysia is poised to potentially receive 2 million medical tourists in 2020, which is equivalent to the number of medical tourists that Thailand received during 2017.


Penang is the epicenter of Malaysia’s medical tourism industry

Penang, the top destinations for medical tourism in Malaysia, is well worth visiting.  Approximately 60% of medical tourists that travel to Malaysia end up going to Penang, which is known for a wide variety of areas such as cardiology, orthopaedics, oncology and neurology to name a few.  Penang is also well known for its high-quality infrastructure, golden beaches and rich cultural heritage. 

Hospitals in Malaysia offer a compelling blend of quality and affordability

Hospitals in Malaysia are able to compete with Singapore easily on a cost basis, given that it can perform many surgeries at circa 25% of the cost.  However, Singapore is ahead in terms of quality and expertise, as the country has more skilled doctors and superior technology. Malaysia’s biggest competitors include other low cost destinations such as Thailand and India, which are both well known for high quality and lower costs.  Taiwan is also able to compete on a cost basis for some surgeries, though it is not well known in the medical tourism space and mainly attracts Chinese medical tourists. It is crucial for American medical tourists to check prices at multiple hospitals in Asia in India, Malaysia and Thailand, when considering expensive surgeries such as heart bypass surgery, hip replacement surgery and knee replacement surgery as each of these destinations provide quality treatment at affordable prices. 

Malaysia is particularly well-known for Cosmetic Surgery, Orthopedics and Fertility treatment

Hospitals in Malaysia have received a wide variety of awards and recognition for high quality services in areas such as cosmetic surgery, orthopedics, pediatrics, and cardiology.  Moreover, the country is also well known for its high success rate in its IVF treatment, which has been responsible for attracting Chinese medical tourists.  Moreover, the country’s expertise in oncology is beginning to gain additional recognition, which has allowed it to compete with Taiwan by drawing patients from nearby countries such as Indonesia.

If you are searching for medical tourism destinations in Asia, your first thought may be to go to Thailand.  While this country offers ample value and prices that are on par with Malaysia, it is crucial to check all of the available options in Malaysia as well.  Check out our online medical booking portal to see if Malaysia is a better fit for your needs.