Healthcare expenditure in Malaysia is increasingly driven by increased privatization within the healthcare service provision and upgrading of existing healthcare infrastructure within the public sector. The market for healthcare services has also received positive impetus from growing promotion of health tourism and development activities.
According to Frost & Sullivan Senior Consultant, Dr. Pawel Suwinski, "Malaysia healthcare tourism trend grew at a rate of 25.3 percent CAGR since 1998, while revenues posted a growth of 37.9 percent during the same period. Revenue per patient has also grown 2.5 fold from USD92 in 1998 to USD241 in 2008. By year 2010, medical tourism revenue per patient is estimated to reach USD590 M. This signifies the growth of foreign confidence in more advanced medical care services in Malaysia. Most international patients come from neighboring countries with less developed medical infrastructure (i.e.: Indonesia), and other developed countries from the West. Malaysia is also a preferred destination for these international patients due to the higher foreign exchange rate in Singapore and unstable political scene in Thailand."
In the year 2006, the bulk of foreign patients came from Indonesia (65-70 percent), followed by Japan (5-6 percent), Europe (5 percent) and India (3 percent). Moreover, patients from Middle Eastern countries (i.e U.A.E., Qatar and Saudi Arabia) posted an upward trend in the past.