Healthcare: The Emerging RM 16 Bil Industry

Healthcare has always been viewed as a good industry to venture into, both for businesses as well as individuals who are looking for a positive career prospect. Deemed as a growing business in the country, the market research firm Global Data has stated that the healthcare market in Malaysia will be worth as much as RM 15.9 billion come 2020.

It is known that clients in the healthcare industry are those who face health issues and are in need of care or treatment. While anyone can face health issues requiring medical treatment at any time in their life, such issues tend to increase as people get older, as a natural result of the body’s ageingprocess.

In Malaysia, the biggest consumers of healthcare are senior citizens. The ageing population—those aged 65 and above—is rapidly increasing and will form 7% of the national population as we approach 2020, thus it is highly likely that businesses in this industry will see an increased demand. Together with this, job opportunities, as well as business opportunities for entrepreneurs to provide services for this sector, will also increase.

An Array of Career Opportunities to Choose From

It is no secret that careers in healthcare have always enjoyed a very high demand over the years. When speaking of careers in healthcare, the terms doctor’ and ‘nurse’ is usually the ones that come to mind. However, what is often overlooked is the fact that there are over 50 job opportunities when it comes to working in the healthcare industry. Some of these overlooked careers in healthcare are:

1. Dentist

2. Dental Hygienist

3. Emergency Medical Technician

4. Pharmacist

5. Therapist

Benefitting Entrepreneurs and Businesses

Apart from a wide range of careers to choose from, the increased demand for healthcare services increases business opportunities as well. In particular, the business market is further aided by the growth of e-Health in the industry.

Having created a whirlwind in many other countries over the years, e-Health has now made its debut in Malaysia after a somewhat slow start. Malaysian startups are beginning to pay more attention to the e-Health industry and are determined not to let the country be left behind its neighbours such as Singapore and Indonesia, when it comes to the e-Health sector.

As such, e-Health deserves more attention from investors, policy makers and, particularly, entrepreneurs in the country, as it can work wonders in improving and systemising the healthcare system in our country. It is said that the e-Health sector play a vital role in Malaysia’s health sector in the years to come.

For instance, several private hospitals within the country have begun exploiting mobile apps in order to assist their tech-savvy potential clients to search for doctors and health services, as well as to book appointments and pay for health screenings. Thus, mobile apps that aid in diagnosis and in the monitoring of patient conditions will definitely come in handy as it would cut costs for governments and health care providers in the country.

Meanwhile, e-commerce has the potential for laying the foundation for efficient and effective transactions at a low cost between employers, payers, providers, and patients in the e-healthcare industry. A big player in the e-commerce sector, B2B healthcare e-commerce is able to aid transactions and the exchange of information among vendors, hospitals, insurance agencies, state and federal regulators, and doctors’ offices. This will simplify and improve the healthcare system in our country while bringing it to new heights.

A Bright Future Ahead

The demand and need for healthcare in Malaysia is expected to further increase over the years, and with demand comes more opportunities to improve treatment and diagnoses.

The 2019 Budget saw a lot of improved healthcare plans that benefit both the people and businesses involved in the industry. Among these are the B40 Health Protection Fund, Skim Perlindungan Kesihatan (Health Protection Scheme, Peka) and many other health screening programmes nationwide. The budget also saw a RM 29 billion in allocation for the Health Ministry, which is a 7.8% increase, compared to the RM 27 billion allocation in 2018.

On that account, in 2027 Malaysia’s healthcare market is predicted to grow by 127%, amounting to RM 127.9 billion, compared to the RM 56.3 billion in 2017. The 2019 Budget projected an increase in public healthcare expenditure, and according to Fitch Solutions Macro Research, the government will continue to push forward fundamental healthcare initiatives which will in turn boost the nation’s healthcare market.

On that note, the government has allocated RM 29 billion for the healthcare sub-sector, which is an increase of 7.8% compared to last year’s budget. Out of these RM 29 billion, RM 2.3 billion will be allocated to the health sub-sector, such as the building and maintaining of clinics and hospitals, and improving the existing healthcare facilities, as well as the means of obtaining medical equipments—all of which is in line with the aim to offer better quality in healthcare, as well as increasing accessibility of health services to the public.

Thus, with the backing of the government, and the willingness of entrepreneurs to venture into the market, it is safe to say that the healthcare industry indeed holds fair and bright prospects for keen businesses and individuals.

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