The Private Healthcare Sector in Johor : Trends and Prospects

Ormond, M.E.; Lim, C.H.


The Iskandar Malaysia (IM) special economic zone (SEZ) was established in Malaysia’s southernmost state, Johor, in 2006. Despite its relative insignificance in the SEZ’s broader investment portfolio, healthcare – a driver for other health-related industries (e.g., biotechnology, medical devices and equipment, pharmaceuticals and education) – has been thought to be a more solid and steadier growth catalyst over the last decade than other projects that IRDA initially saw as significant growth catalysts. This is due in part to healthcare, like schools and transport infrastructure, functioning as a key infrastructural anchor and ‘enabler’ to make retail/mixed-development and residential property development more attractive to investors and consumers. In this report, we provide a contemporary snapshot of the key policies and players shaping the development of private healthcare in Johor in order to inform policymakers, current commercial stakeholders and potential investors, and residents and civil society actors in the region about the latest trends, concerns and opportunities linked to the private healthcare sector in Johor. We also offer an overview of healthcare demand, facilities and human resources available in Johor that enables readers to compare the dimensions and competitiveness of Johor’s private healthcare services sector with other key leading states in Malaysia. This information draws on documentary sources, interviews with key private health and aged-care sector representatives, and participant observation. We wrap up the report with reflections on the future challenges and opportunities the private healthcare services sector faces in Johor.