RM1.8 billion industry. Get ‘benefits’ from it!

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When I was still based in Penang, I noticed that Penang private hospitals are a favourite for many overseas patients. The reasons often cited is that they trust Malaysian hospitals more versus their own country as well as that the prices they have to pay is still lower than their own country. I moved to KL 6 years ago. My son was born in Park City Medical centre 4 years ago. At that time, the car park was nearly empty and I could park anywhere I wanted! Well, last year when I visited it again, the car park was FULL. This is as real as it gets. The need for medical attention is growing and our hospitals are serving not just Malaysians but also overseas patients. How many are we serving and how big is this industry?

Article in TheMalaysianReserve here According to Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council (MHTC) CEO Sherene Azli local hospitals excel in cardiology, fertility and cosmetic surgery. In 2018, medical tourists spent RM1.5 billion and for 2019, this is expected to grow to RM1.8 billion. She said, “We target to promote treatments that have a high return. Our goal is to make Malaysia the leading global healthcare destination. The three reasons why Malaysia is a preferred medical treatment destination globally is due to its high treatment quality, accessibility and competitive costs. Malaysia’s medical tourism has been growing between 16% and 17% year-on-year over the last five years. International Living magazine’s Annual Global Retirement Index had voted Malaysia as the “Best Country in the World for Healthcare” in 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2019 — ahead of France, Thailand, Ecuador, Mexico and Costa Rica. Sherene also revealed that Indonesians make up about 60% of medical tourists in Malaysia, while the remaining are mainly from China and the Middle East region. MHTC is an agency under the Finance Ministry and there are currently 76 medical facilities in Malaysia which are registered with them. Article in TheMalaysianReserve here

How do Malaysia’s property market benefit from it? Over a million tourists visit Malaysia for medical treatment. This meant the never ending need for accommodation for patients recovering after their hospital stay as well as family members who travel together with them. The properties nearby these private hospitals tend to have a premium in its pricing due to the higher rental yields. How do we benefit from it? If we are thinking about property investment, then identify new hospitals being built and if we are aiming at renting to these patients’ families for example, then buying in advance at a good entry price will be a good decision over the long run. Alternatively buying into existing neighbourhoods we know are serving the accommodation needs from the private hospitals would be good too. Courtesy reminder, it should be within walking distance because the patients would most probably not have a car. Last but not least, buying hospital related stocks help too. Happy following.

written on 24 March 2019

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Article written and edited by Charles. News article summarised by Dina Batrisyia.

Next suggested article: Malaysia is very competitive, says Moody’s

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