Service Providers’ Behaviour in Light of Developing the Medical Tourism Industry in Malaysia: At the Expense of Local Patients?

Herwina Rosnan, Norzayana Yusof


Despite the concern that medical tourism causes local patients to be neglected, this article attempts to prove the otherwise. Ten in-depth interviews were conducted with doctors and private hospitals that serve medical tourists. Through Atlas.ti version 8, our interviews found that the locals are still the primary focus as medical tourists only take about 10% on average of the total patients in these hospitals. Further, hospitals are bound to Act 586 by the central government. This research suggests for the policy-makers to take the necessary proactive actions in developing the medical tourism industry while simultaneously catering for the locals’ needs.

Keywords: Medical Tourism; Local Patients; Public Healthcare; Healthcare Equity

eISSN: 2398-4287© 2019. The Authors. Published for AMER ABRA cE-Bsby e-International Publishing House, Ltd., UK. This is an open access article under the CC BYNC-ND license ( Peer–review under responsibility of AMER (Association of Malaysian Environment-Behaviour Researchers), ABRA (Association of Behavioural Researchers on Asians) and cE-Bs (Centre for Environment-Behaviour Studies), Faculty of Architecture, Planning & Surveying, UniversitiTeknologi MARA, Malaysia.


Medical Tourism; Local Patients; Public Healthcare; Patients’ needs

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