Malaysia is set to welcome around one million health travelers in 2017, up from 860,000 last year, and generate respective revenue of $292 million, up 30 per cent compared with 2016, the Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council (MHTC) says.
Indonesia remains the top revenue contributor, accounting for 70 per cent of total revenue. But MHTC’s CEO Sherene Azli said the council hopes to see greater contributions from markets like India, China, Vietnam and Myanmar in the future.
Currently, the top five medical services offered in Malaysia are cardiology, oncology, orthopedic services, in-vitro fertilisation and blood disease-related treatments. According to the MHTC, quality healthcare services offered at affordable prices is what sets Malaysia’s medical tourism industry apart from its regional competitors such as Thailand, Singapore and South Korea.
Malaysia has also been recognised as ranking top among the best four medical tourism destinations for foreigners by International Living, a publication focusing on expat lifestyle and retirement and overseas travel.
Malaysia is the only Asian country in the report titled “Four countries with the best healthcare in the world”, ahead of Costa Rica, Colombia and Mexico. The publication said the healthcare available in Malaysia was sometimes “even better than what’s on offer in developed countries,” and “at a more affordable price too”.
The basis for International Living’s evaluation were the price and quality scores of medical procedures in the 24 countries in the healthcare category of the publication’s 2017 Global Retirement Index.
According to the report, the key benefit for receiving quality healthcare in Malaysia is that the doctors speak English very well and that the country has some of the best-trained medical specialists in Asia, with many graduating from the US, UK and Australia.