KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 24 – Malaysia is planning to establish the nation’s maiden flagship medical tourism hospital, with government-linked company (GLC) medical centres comprising the majority of shortlisted candidates.
Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng told the Medical Travel Market Intelligence Conference organised by Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council (MHTC) here today that the shortlisted hospitals were National Heart Institute (IJN), Sunway Medical Centre, Thomson Hospital Kota Damansara, Ramsay Sime Darby Subang Jaya Medical Centre, Prince Court Medical Centre, Mahkota Medical Centre, Island Hospital, Gleneagles Penang, and KPJ Ampang Puteri.
IJN, Subang Jaya Medical Centre, Prince Court, Gleneagles, and KPJ are all GLC hospitals. IJN is run by Ministry of Finance (MOF) Inc, while IHH Healthcare Bhd runs Gleneagles and is planning to acquire Prince Court from Khazanah Nasional Bhd.
KPJ Healthcare Bhd is the health care arm of Johor state-owned conglomerate Johor Corporation, whereas Ramsay Sime Darby Health Care is a 50:50 joint venture by Sime Darby Berhad, a GLC.
“To show our commitment in further supporting the industry’s growth and sustainability, we will look into acknowledging qualified Malaysian private hospitals who are establishing themselves as flagship hospitals for healthcare travel,” Lim said.
The minister also announced that the government has created a joint committee to increase investments into the health care sector.
“We have established a joint steering committee to approve investments, chaired jointly by myself, and Minister of International Trade and Industry, Darrell Leiking,” he said.
“Where previously, for all foreign as well as domestic investments will take at least six to nine months to get final approval, this will be approved on a monthly basis.”
According to Lim, the government’s commitment to the private health care industry through investment tax allowance and incentives has attracted almost RM10 billion in private investments in 2018, of which more than RM1 billion was from foreign direct investments and more than RM8 billion from local investment.
Among the new investments included Penang’s Medical City, comprising an RM2 billion investment to build the largest private hospital with 1,000 beds, and the establishment of a foreign private hospital.
Malaysia has out-performed global and regional growth rates in the health care travel industry, with its compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) reaching 17 per cent from 2015 to 2018 in terms of revenue.
“In 2018 alone, revenue receipts reached RM1.5 billion from approximately 1.2 million health care traveller arrivals,” said Lim.
In the past five years, the average global CAGR for the health care travel industry recorded between growth of between 10 and 12 per cent.
“Under the 10th and 11th Malaysia Plan, a target has been set for Malaysia health care to deliver 25 per cent growth with over RM1.8 billion in hospital revenues and an estimated total economic impact of RM8 billion for 2019.
“Through incentives such as the investment tax allowances, roughly 15,000 jobs have been created within the private healthcare sector. In addition to that, we have seen an increase in private sector bed capacity to the current 15,000 units we have presently now.”