Top medical tourism destination has even bigger plans


In the Budget 2018 announcement, specific allocations were made for Malaysia Healthcare in developing the medical tourism industry.

The overall 2020 target is to go beyond the RM2.8 billion mark in hospital revenues from international patients and achieve a total economic impact of RM10 billion. Several key initiatives were highlighted during the announcement:

‘Asian Hub’ for Fertility Treatment and Cardiology

More support will be given to establish Malaysia as the key Asian ‘hub’ for fertility and cardiology services. Already known for medical excellence in these niche specialities, the new initiative aims to further grow these sectors and capitalise on the high demand from neighbouring countries including Indonesia, Vietnam, Myanmar, China, Singapore and, more recently, India.

Malaysia Healthcare is working with fertility centres to cultivate an attractive environment to support couples on their way to becoming parents. Malaysian fertility centres have been equipped with technologies such as Next Generation Sequencing, Time Lapse Embryoscopes, Piezo-ICSI and 3D Laparoscopes.  The centres boast highly experienced embryologists, providing pre-treatment to post-treatments at affordable prices. In addition, Malaysia’s well-regulated healthcare system provides for certain policies to facilitate international healthcare travelers’ access to fertility treatments.  Hopeful couples are also encouraged to think of Malaysia, as part of the ongoing Malaysia Healthcare-organised promotional campaign ‘Experience Malaysia Healthcare, Embrace Malaysian Hospitality’, which was launched in 2016.

In cardiology, a collaboration between the National Heart Association of Malaysia and the Ministry of Health has led to development, research and quality improvements in cardiology-related treatments and medical services. The use of new technologies has allowed cardiologists to serve a larger volume of patients and has led to successes in complex surgeries. This reputation has boosted international patient demand, in addition to increasing repeat customers looking for ongoing heart care support.  Malaysia Healthcare has now launched a cardiology-specific brand, Malaysia the Heartbeat of Asia’ to support this strategic aim of establishing the country as the Asian hub for cardiology.

A Flagship Medical Tourism Hospital Programme

This three to five-year programme has been introduced to support selected Malaysian Private Hospitals to become ‘flagship’ hospital destinations on the global medical tourism stage.

The overall objective is to raise Malaysia’s healthcare travel sector competitiveness by motivating healthcare organisations to join this programme.  In doing so, they must work to exemplify enterprise, provide the best quality medical care and service, offer high levels of patient safety and quality management, and prioritise patient experience for accelerated growth.

This programme will also aim to encourage private hospitals to promote themselves in specifically evidence-based capabilities, which can demonstrate overall improvement in quality of patient outcomes. In terms of revenue, by the end of this programme, our aim is to double healthcare travel revenue.

Further tax allowances and deductions for medical tourism

Also announced were an extension in the Investment Tax Allowance for medical tourism until 31 December 2020; a double tax deduction on expenditure incurred for dental and ambulatory services; and an increase in the special tourism healthcare incentive from 50% to 100%.

Investing in health promotion - Malaysia Year of Healthcare Travel 2020 (MYHT 2020)

Malaysia Healthcare will be leading Malaysia Year of Healthcare Travel 2020 (MYHT 2020) to run in tandem with Visit Malaysia 2020 (VM 2020). VM 2020 is the 5th edition of this ongoing national tourism campaign organised by the Ministry of Tourism and Culture and aims to welcome 36 million tourists to the country. Celebrating health and an active lifestyle, MYHT 2020 is expected to play an integral promotional part in achieving this target tourist volume, in addition to building Malaysia as one of the leading global healthcare travel destinations.

Finally, in the interest of advancing the international healthcare travel industry, Malaysia Healthcare will also be anchoring InsigHT2018. InsigHT is Malaysia’s medical travel market intelligence conference which gathers thought leaders and partners locally and globally to collaborate and advance the medical travel industry in Malaysia and the Asian region.  This year, InsigHT2018 presents the theme of “Building Trust Towards Excellence”.  Emphasising on building our greatest asset, trust, the conference will explore how this indispensable component fortifies networks, partnerships, relationships and initiatives while opening avenues to create new ones throughout the medical tourism value chain. The conference will take place between 3-4 September 2018, at Aloft Kuala Lumpur Sentral.  For more information about the event, visit

View the IMTJ’s assessment of inbound medical tourism to Malaysia.


Malaysia: a sustainable medical travel destination

Resources, 30 April, 2018

Sherene Azli, MHTC, IMTJ Medical Travel Summit USA 2018

The growth of medical tourism in Malaysia

Resources, 25 April, 2017

Sherene Azura Azli, MHTC, IMTJ Medical Travel Summit 2017

Stringent healthcare regulations in medical tourism destination countries

Resources, 26 May, 2016

Sherene Azura Azli: IMTJ Summit 2016

Malaysia Healthcare networking reception presentation

Resources, 17 September, 2015

Sherene Azli: Kings Fund Event 2015

Developing markets in Asia

Resources, 15 April, 2015

Sherene Azli: IMTJ Summit 2015



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