Did you know that Malaysia fulfills 80% of the world’s demand for catheters and 60% for rubber gloves? But that’s just one example that cites the intersectional growth of healthcare in Malaysia. Advances in technology such as wireless sensors for recording patient vitals and mobility solutions which allow for organized workflows, healthcare in Malaysia is witnessing the smart hospital boom, and the effects of this boom trickle down to various fields in the world of tech. As hospitals become smarter, solutions are becoming more intersectional. A result of this is a demand for skillsets which go above and beyond just healthcare technologies. Smarter healthcare demands expertise in areas such as IoT, cloud computing and data analytics, AI, mobility, etc. so if you happen to be equipped with any of these skill sets, Malaysia might be the best place for you.

Growth by the numbers

The healthcare industry has been growing exponentially in Malaysia, but don’t just take our word for it. In 2017, the total approved investments if the healthcare industry in Malaysia was worth RM 2.2 billion including six new projects worth RM 69.4 million. Besides this, 19 expansion and diversification projects worth RM 2.2 billion added up. Compare this to the RM 2.9 billion that was invested in 41 approved projects in 2016 and the growth is clear. According to a report by The Daily Mail, Malaysia’s healthcare industry spending is estimated to reach RM 80 billion by 2020! This means investments in various avenues within healthcare which will demand specialized skills in the tech space.

Growth aided by the Malaysian Government

One of the key factors of Malaysia’s healthcare boom is a supportive government. The Sabah government and Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) are developing the varsity‚Äôs first hospital using the SMART University feature. The Ministry of Health has also launched Integrated Malaysian Health Data Warehouse (MyHDW)- Malaysia is the 7thcountry to have such data warehouse. The data warehouse aims to offer a trusted source of comprehensive healthcare data. Clearly, the government is committed to delivering high-quality care to its citizens and is looking to leverage technology for the same.

Implications of Budget 2019

The expectations of the budget for the coming year is high, especially for the Malaysian healthcare industry. A part of this is because the government itself is realizing Malaysia as a global hub for healthcare, as it is in the center of innovation, technology, and an able workforce. Think tanks such as the Galen Centre for Health and Social Policy are coming forward with their expectations of the new Malaysian budget with regard to health care, and the expectations are based on pragmatic requirements of the healthcare industry and the citizens. According to Galen Centre, 73% of deaths in Malaysia were caused by preventing non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as diabetes and cancer. In order to tackle these diseases, a lot of funds must be poured into research and development, which again opens up opportunities for tech talent. The requirements of the healthcare industry are inclined towards the IT space. Another interesting proposition made by the Galen Centre was the pushing for the introduction of a secondary financing system for health care over and above the existing government allocation in order to improve the functionality and accessibility to public healthcare.

An Amalgam of Talent

The growth spurt of this booming industry requires health care experts to work closely together with technology experts. It requires a synergy of various domains and technical expertise. For example, developing smart EHR solutions to solve the data dilemmas of healthcare requires expertise in cutting-edge technologies like cloud, mobility, IoT, etc. Interpreting and analyzing data dilemmas requires special expertise in big data and analytics. The future is connected healthcare and the development of those solutions require expertise in new age technologies like IoT, AI, and Machine Learning. This means that the healthcare industry in Malaysia creates an opportunity for different talent in the tech space. Another extremely noteworthy fact is that Malaysia is now on the map as a top-notch medical manufacturing hub, and is home to over 200 manufacturers with investments worth RM 14.2 billion! Moreover, 30 MNCs have made Malaysia their offshore manufacturing headquarters.

In conclusion, we would like to add that Malaysia is known to be one of the most ‘livable’ places in the world, according to The Economist Intelligence Unit. What’s more is that the according to the World Bank stated that Malaysia is among the top 20 countries in the world that facilitates business with ease, another noteworthy point is that Malaysia was actually ahead of Switzerland, the UAE, and Japan in terms of conducting business. If you’re already in Malaysia, then you’re in the right place at the right time. If you’re looking for a switch, consider this land of ample opportunity!