Malaysia - Country Commercial Guide
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Market Overview

Personal healthcare expenditures in Malaysia are expected to double to $2.8 billion  2028. The Malaysian government will continue to strengthen the capacity of public health services as evidenced by making the Ministry of Health (MOH) among the recipients of the largest allocation increase in the National Budget for 2023, amounting to $7.9 billion, as  compared to $7.1 billion in 2022.  With 10% of the population over 60, options for elder care are a focus in the healthcare system. In addition, given the high percentage of deaths caused by non-communicable diseases (NCDs), management of NCDs through monitoring and prevention are other vital issues. Unfortunately, Malaysians have the highest rate of diabetes in SE Asia, with approximately  1 in 5 adults affected.

Malaysia offers both public and private healthcare systems. Private healthcare providers are driving health technology adoption and pursuing partnerships with international healthcare providers to strengthen their service offerings to medical travelers. Public health care providers are expanding their abilities to offer prevention and screening while increasing healthcare access in remote parts of the country. These continued efforts will sustain a need for related technology and products. 

Over the next ten years, the public and private healthcare sectors are focused on expanding investment in healthcare technology, medical devices, and digital health to ensure world-class quality healthcare service delivery. Those developments are part of a broader modernization effort aimed at outbreak preparedness, elder care, and NCD management. Key opportunities exist for medical devices, health technology, healthcare partnerships, medical travel, and clinical research. The main market access pathways for U.S. companies to enter the Malaysian markets are to appoint authorized distributors or set up a subsidiary company in Malaysia.


Non-communicable diseases (NCDs)

Given the rise of NCDs and the long-term effect  of COVID-19 on people with underlying health conditions, the Malaysian government has focused on the launch of the national Agenda of Healthy Malaysia to promote a healthy lifestyle for its citizens. Given the high percentage of deaths caused by NCDs, management of NCDs through monitoring and prevention are other vital issues. Market opportunities for U.S. companies are consumer medical devices, senior care, and diagnostics devices.

Medical devices

Even though Malaysia is a leading exporter of low-tech medical devices and products, Malaysia imports around 88% of medical devices from foreign countries, mainly focusing on high-tech products . The medical device prospects in Malaysia include auxiliary equipment, diagnostic imaging products, surgical dental instruments, medical instruments and appliances, orthopedic and prosthetic implants, and consumer medical devices for monitoring health conditions.

Health technology

Malaysia’s Health White Paper plans to transform healthcare service delivery by implementing a Ministry of Health (MOH) ICT Masterplan. Harnessing technology for storing, sharing, and analyzing healthcare information will be increasingly important. Market opportunities for U.S. companies exist in supporting virtual consultations with health professionals, the tracking of electronic medical record systems (EMR) and Electronic Lifetime Health Record (ELHR), and health information exchange (HIE) for sharing needed health records and results. The increase in digitization is also generating demand for technology to protect the privacy and security of that medical information.

Medical travel

Malaysia aims to enhance the current healthcare travel ecosystem and strengthen the Malaysia healthcare brand, to develop its capabilities and reputation as the Fertility Hub of Asia, Cardiology Hub of Asia, and Cancer Care Centre of Excellence. Private healthcare providers are driving health technology adoption, pursuing partnerships with international healthcare providers, and initiating robotic surgery and other advanced health tech to strengthen  offerings to medical travelers.

Clinical research

Malaysia’s multi-ethnic population provides clinical researchers with access to genetic diversity in various medical fields, making it one of the leading players in the region. Some clinical research has included studies in infectious diseases, oncology, cardiology, and hematology. Market opportunities exist for U.S. companies to partner with local hospitals or research institutes in clinical research.

Trade Events

Lab Asia 2023: October 10-12, 2023

APHM International Healthcare Conference & Exhibition 2024: June 4-6, 2024

International Rubber Glove Conference and Exhibition 2024: September 3-5, 2024


Resources of Malaysian Government Authorities

Clinical Research Malaysia

Halal Malaysia Official Portal

Malaysia’s Medical Device Authority (MDA)

Ministry of Health

Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI)

National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA)