Medical Tourism

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Tanaka Business School Imperial College London

An Insight into Malaysia’s Medical Tourism Industry from a New Entrant Perspective by

Mr. Bhavin J. Shah

A report submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the MBA degree and Diploma of Imperial College London

September 2008

SYNOPSIS

The overarching objective of this project is to provide an insight into Malaysia’s medical tourism industry. The study conducted offers assistance to a new upcoming hospital in Malaysia to understand the overall scenario of the market it wishes to enter in the near future. An external view using Porter’s Five Forces, an internal resource-based view and an industry snapshot using value network approach are evaluated to identify the pros and cons about the industry.

In the beginning, a brief about medical tourism is written along with the background to research, and project aims and objectives.

Next, a critical literature review is performed to explore previous research and to analyze merits and limitations of the theoretical frameworks. Interviews with managers and medical practitioners were arranged to gather primary data. Secondary data was also obtained from pertinent sources. The theoretical frameworks that form the academic basis for this study are used to analyze the data. The analyses are discussed along with other facts that were not captured by the framework or approach.

The analysis confirms that Malaysia’s medical tourism industry is attractive to enter and realize profits. There are a few strong players in the market, although, the overall market is still in the emerging phase. However, certain facts about the government, staffing, certifications, and lack of resources explain that the role players in the industry may need to work together to build up the industry.

Finally, a few recommendations have been noted to help the hospital make the right decisions.

I

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

This dissertation was made possible due to the active support of the staff at Asian Neuro Cardiac Centre, Malaysia . In particular, I would like to thank Ms. Pinache and Mr. Beh for providing information about Malaysia’s medical tourism industry and the hospital. I also extend my gratitude towards Ms. Wendy and Mr. Zahirin without whom traveling would have been a nightmare in Malaysia.

At Imperial College London, I would like to thank my supervisor Dr. Timothy Heymann, first for awarding the studentship project and second for helping to target my efforts. I would even like to thank Mr. Ebrahim Mohamed and Mr. Simon Stockley for their moral support towards the write-up of this project.

Finally, special thanks to my wife Nansi, who has being so supportive during this project and throughout my MBA year. Bhavin Shah, September 2008.

II

TABLE OF CONTENTS
SYNOPSIS ................................................................................................................. I ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ............................................................................................ II TABLE OF CONTENTS............................................................................................ III TABLE OF FIGURES ................................................................................................ V LIST OF TABLES ...................................................................................................... V 1 INTRODUCTION ................................................................................................ 1 1.1. 1.2. 1.3. 1.4. 1.5. 1.6. 1.7. 1.8. 1.9. 1.10. 2 2.1. What is Medical Tourism ............................................................................. 1 Benefits of Medical Tourism ........................................................................ 1 Why is medical tourism attractive ................................................................ 2 Downsides of Medical Tourism .................................................................... 2...
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