A state-level analysis of the economic impacts of medical tourism in Malaysia

J Klijs, M. Ormond, TJGMJ Mainil, J. Peerlings, W. Heijman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


In Malaysia, a country that ranks among the world's most recognised medical tourism destinations, medical tourism is identified as a potential economic growth engine for both medical and non-medical sectors. A state-level analysis of economic impacts is important, given differences between states in economic profiles and numbers, origins, and expenditure of medical tourists. We applied input-output (I-O) analysis, based on state-specific I-O data and disaggregated foreign patient data. The analysis includes nine of Malaysia's states. In 2007, these states were visited by 341,288 foreign patients, who generated MYR1,313.4m ($372.3m) output, MYR468.6m ($132.8m) in value added, and over 19,000 jobs. Impacts related to non-medical expenditure are more substantial than impacts related to medical expenditure, and indirect impacts are a substantial part of total impacts. We discuss management and policy responses and formulate recommendations for data collection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-29
Number of pages27
JournalAsian-Pacific Economic Literature
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • economic impacts
  • Malaysia
  • medical tourism


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