Market Intelligence
Healthcare Services Medical Devices Healthcare Facilities Malaysia

Malaysia Healthcare

The Malaysian national budget for 2021 is RM322.5 billion (~US$77 billion).  The Ministry of Health’s total budget for next year is RM31.9 billion (~US$7.6 billion).  Although there is an increase in the healthcare budget, the year-on-year percentage increase is only 4.3% - the lowest increase in three years.  The 2021 budget shows wide-ranging cuts across almost all health care services including pharmacy and supplies. These budget cuts range between 10-78% across most of its care services. Psychiatric and mental health, respiratory and general medicine, anesthesia, and intensive care show cuts between 9-14%. Radiotherapy and oncology, cardiothoracic, pharmacy, and nephrology show cuts between 58-78%. 

The Government of Malaysia is committed to providing affordable and accessible vaccines when these become available.  Malaysia is participating in the COVID-19 Vaccine Global Access (COVAX) program.  It expects the program to cost RM3 billion (~US$714 million).  
Aside from the Covid-19 allocation, other programs receiving continued funding are the pneumococcal vaccination program for 500,000 children, with a budget of RM90 million (~US$21 million).  Also, RM6 million (~US$1.4 million) is set aside for the procurement of biologic medicine for various rheumatology illnesses such as Rheumatoid Arthritis.  RM25 million (~US$6 million) is set aside for home-based Peritoneal Dialysis treatments to minimize hospital overcrowding.  

New on the budget is the National Development Scheme with an allocation of RM1.4 billion (~US$333 million).  This scheme supports the domestic supply chain and increases the production of locally produced medical devices.  Additionally, there are concessions of RM1.4 billion (~US$333 million) for medical laboratories and stores privatization.  The Peka B40 project with RM80 million (~US$19 million) is an initiative to sustain the healthcare needs of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD) of the bottom 40% (B40) households.  Also new in the budget is a special program allocation of RM2.89 billion (~US$688 million) for health facilities and medical supplies.  The development segment of the budget are as follows: 

•    Urban and rural healthcare services RM443 million (~US$105 million),   
•    RM366 million (~US$87 million) for new hospitals, 
•    RM100 million (~US$24 million) for the upgrade, modification, and repair of existing facilities, 
•    RM62.5 million (~US$15 million) for ICT facilities,
•    RM71.6 million (~US$17 million) for Public-Private Partnerships projects.

Health tourism remains a focal sector.  The Malaysian government is setting aside RM35 million (~US$8 million) for the Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council to enhance the competitiveness of the local health tourism industry.  The Malaysian government will also extend income tax exemptions for the export of private healthcare services until the 2022 assessment year.  

While the 2021 budget shows large cuts across all the healthcare specialties, there are opportunities for U.S. companies in the construction of new health facilities and the integration of IT in healthcare practices. Despite the budget cuts, managing Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) is Malaysia’s main priority. Not only it is a necessity to maintain a healthier nation, but also to reduce the burden on the healthcare budget for a country that provides universal healthcare coverage. 

The Commercial Service team in Malaysia will launch events throughout 2021 to connect U.S. companies and Malaysian stakeholders in the areas of health IT, pharmaceuticals, and treatment options in oncology and cardiology.  

Please reach out to us at for further information on these programs.