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Shift toward Preventive Healthcare is Driving Market Growth
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The market for healthcare services in Malaysia is less developed, with many clinical testing services being unavailable outside of cities. Unsubstantiated disease and unconfirmed mortality diagnoses are common in the country despite universal care, significant mixed investment in the local healthcare system, and health expenditure favourable to other middle-income nations. With demographic shifts such as population aging, increasing life expectancy, and growth of non-communicable diseases, the demand for healthcare is expected to grow. Hence, there is increasing pressure on stakeholders to restructure the healthcare system, with an emphasis on allowing private facilities to play a more significant role.The Malaysian clinical laboratories testing (CLT) market is expected to continue growing, driven by a shift toward preventive healthcare, rising demand, population aging, and growth of medical tourism. Overall, the market is attractive for international players to invest in and capitalize on the available opportunities.Malaysia as a developing country is slowly consolidating its position at the forefront of global healthcare with affordable services and increase in medical tourism. In 2016, the Government of Malaysia prioritized healthcare spending by injecting $5.2 billion into the market. Malaysia’s healthcare system consists of two tiers: a state-owned universal healthcare system for national citizens and a private sector that serves the more affluent citizens of the country and international patients. Majority of the tests are conducted in-house, with specialized testing such as molecular diagnostics being referred out due to inadequate laboratory facilities. This is observed mainly in district and secondary public hospitals and in private hospitals situated in rural areas. Private independent laboratories have started spreading out to capture more direct consumers through health screening packages, while maintaining their relationships with hospitals and private clinics to receive send-out samples.The Government of Malaysia seeks to facilitate market growth by encouraging private investments in areas such as manufacturing of pharmaceutical products and medical devices, clinical research, and aged care services and by supporting collaborative efforts between public and private healthcare providers. Collectively, the 40 healthcare projects announced under the National Key Economic Areas (NKEA) program are projected to create 26,966 jobs and generate an income of $1.70 billion, recording $1.28 billion in new investments by 2020.
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