KUALA LUMPUR: Health tourism is projected to generate over RM2.2bil in revenue by 2010, said KPJ Healthcare Bhd group adviser (medical services development and marketing) Datuk Dr K. Kulaveerasingam.
Health tourists spend on average four times more than recreational tourists and it is the fastest growing segment in the tourism industry, he told reporters after presenting a paper on Investment in Malaysian Healthcare and Health Tourism at the 17th National Real Estate Convention 2006 yesterday.
Health tourism contributed RM90mil in foreign exchange earnings in 2002.
Kulaveerasingam said the next five to 10 years would see tremendous growth in the Malaysian healthcare and health tourism industry.
He said in 2005, the Government spent about RM9bil, or 55%, of the total healthcare expenditure and met 70% of the country's needs while the private sector spent 45% to cover 30% of the needs.
He added that, however, future investments in healthcare would be required for Malaysia to remain competitive globally.
This investment would require close collaboration between healthcare providers and real estate investors or developers, he said.
Kulaveerasingam said the Malaysia, My Second Home programme had created a positive inflow of foreign capital. Foreign buyers, he added, often placed strong emphasis on the quality and accessibility to healthcare facilities when deciding to buy property in Malaysia.