Fertility Associates, the country's largest fertility services provider has opened its first clinic in Malaysia.
The joint venture, established with Malaysian firm Qualitas Medical Group, is a response to the rising middle class in Malaysia and a growing demand for quality medical services, says Fertility Associates chief executive Alex Price.
New Zealand patients are administered about 3000 in vitro fertilisation (IVF) cycles each year at a cost of $11,000 a cycle.
Price says Malaysian demand for IVF treatments is about the same as in New Zealand but with a population of more than 29 million people there is ample room for growth.
"To give patients access to world class treatment you need scale," Price said.
The New Zealand fertility treatments market is already well serviced and Price says the company also looked at opportunities in Australia before settling on Malaysia for its first offshore venture.
"They (Malaysia) are keen to build up their healthcare sector. Malaysians speak English and their training for doctors is similar to New Zealand," Price said.
This first overseas fertility clinic could be just the start as Fertility Associates looks to export its scientific expertise and 'scale up.'
Initially, the Kuala Lumpur area-based clinic will offer a number of standard fertility services such as IVF and intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection, with plans to extend this to other treatments already offered in New Zealand.
The clinic opening was attended by Malaysia's Deputy Minister of Health, Dato' Seri Dr Hilmi Haji Yahaya and Dr Pita Sharples who was in Malaysia as part of New Zealand Week.
Fertility Associates claims to have birth rates around 50 per cent better than the average New Zealand and Australian clinic - a statistic which should prove very attractive to Malaysian couples, Price says.
And like New Zealand, the Malaysian population is diverse with major groups being the native Malay population, Chinese and Indians.
"In New Zealand, we are used to dealing with a very diverse population with differing religious and cultural needs, so we are used to differing patient requirements," he said.