Expansion of medical tourism will hurt general hospitals


Business Times reports that Sime Darby Healthcare, the healthcare arm of Sime Darby, has teamed up with Medilink Network (PVT) Ltd of Bangladesh and Medilink (Beijing) TPA Services Co Ltd to promote medical travel from Bangladesh and China to Malaysia.

The expansion of lucrative, profit-oriented medical tourism will hurt the government-owned general hospitals, which are already experiencing a critical shortage of specialists. It will further contribute to the exodus of specialists to private hospitals from the overstretched public sector.

The irony is that the Sime Darby is owned by government-run or state-managed agencies and bodies. According to Sime Darby’s 2008 Annual Report, its substantial shareholders are:

  • Skim Amanah Saham Bumiputera – 34%
  • EPF – 14%
  • PNB – 15%
  • Yayasan Pelaburan Bumiputera – 15% (deemed interest)

Has the government really explored the impact of promoting medical tourism on its general hospitals.

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Maxwell Sim
Maxwell Sim
17 Nov 2010 1.23am

Sad indeed kan? But herein lies the paradox, the burden of public healthcare will continue to rise until it would be as much as a drain on government coffers as is our pension funds. Look at the US. I think the government should channel more funds to the poorest of the poor and as for the rest of us, we need to wean ourselves from availing ourselves of nearly free healthcare just because we pay taxes. The cost of healthcare is high indeed so let us lead healthier lives and prepare for rainy days by taking up medical insurance plans?… Read more »

5 Jan 2010 2.24pm

In addition to the abovementioned problem there will also be a big outflow of hard-earned dollars for the purpose of medical care of the rich who can afford. The possibility of development of quality healthcare facilities in the private sector would also dwindle because of the outflow of patients to more advanced countries.

Malaysian Jati
Malaysian Jati
22 May 2009 11.16pm

Hi, Telah pun ramai Kaum Pendatang(indonesia,india,china,bangla,vetnam,pilipino,NEGRO, yg di beri pelbagai kemudahan utk mereka,rakyat sendiri tersepit. Telah ramai kaum pendatang Indonesia yg dtg beranak pinak guna kemudahan dan kesenangan rakyat Malaysia.ANAK-ANAK YG DI LAHIR DI NEGARA KITA INI MENDAPAT KEMUDAHAN SAPERTI RAKYAT KITA JUGA.rakyat sendiri di biarkan merana dan menjdi 3rd class. Telah pun ramai kaum pendatang yg guna kad pengenalan merah mendapat kemudahan yg kita nikmati kita terpaksa berkongsi dgn mereka.Kerajaan Malaysia ni mmmg sgt pemurah kpd kaum pendatang,Rakyat sendiri pula di suruh berjimat dan tak di beri perhatian.Yg kaya tentu tak fhm dan tak tau . Kuasa di beri… Read more »

Justin Choo
22 May 2009 8.42pm


Phua Kai Lit
Phua Kai Lit
22 May 2009 1.10pm

Dear Anil If we set aside the issue of the citizenship of patients seeking medical care in the private sector, the net effect arising from the promotion of medical tourism is the same as: An increase in demand for high end medical services (and lower end medical services provided by highly trained specialist doctors) by affluent patients. So, the outcome will follow the laws of supply and demand. There will be further distortions in the health care “market”. From the experience of other countries, lucrative specialties such as plastic surgery (for cosmetic purposes) will bloom. We can expect more movement… Read more »

22 May 2009 1.03pm

Same goes for the doctors too. It is all $$$$$$. Look at size of the doctors houses in Penang and the cars they drive. It is all about $$$$$. NO MORE ETHICS …… NO MONEY NO TALK.
As I said before, Malaysia is a society where $$$$ is most important, as it can selesai everything.

22 May 2009 12.05pm

We, the people, paid good money for the acquisition of Sime Darby, Guthrie, Harrisons & Crossfields, and all those plantation companies now rolled into Sime Darby. At the time, this was said to be bringing these companies back home, for the benefit of the people, instead of profits flowing out to Britain. Now, these companies have been “privatised”, although when they are in a pinch, we still subsidise them through the EPF, e.g. So, the profits now go to bankroll huge executive salaries, investments in plantations in Indonesia and, yes, some dividends to EPF. Meanwhile, over the decades, local Malaysians,… Read more »

22 May 2009 11.24am

Dear Anil, Ive seen too many people taking 1.5 hour bus ride from Kuala Selangor to GHKL – with crutches and bald heads. They are in great pains but they have to travel that far to seek medical treatments. It seems like we forget what we should help this poor section of our Anak Bangsa Malaysia, FIRST. It is good for them to come up with this medical tourism project since this GLC could channel the profits to the government and the government in return could construct more hospitals, equips them with better technology for speedy delivery and more staff… Read more »

22 May 2009 10.59am

Government not bothered. Money is more important than the rakyat’s health. We nearly got screwed recently when IJN was nearly taken over. Who will suffer if privatised? Go to IJN and you see, the majority are poor Malays.

The 12 billion PKFZ scandal, one can build 10 ultra modern government hospitals in each state, in total, 100 new hospitals.

100 hospitals x 120 million each.

But where has the money gone?