Many visitors and retirees to Malaysia are pleasantly surprised by the high standard of healthcare to be found here. Find out below how foreigners and locals benefit from a perfectly adequate system of healthcare in Malaysia.
We recommend you take out medical and travel insurance before travelling to Malaysia, which will cover you for all eventualities. To seek medical attention, foreigners not employed in local companies will need to visit private hospitals and clinics of which there are many throughout the country. Many expatriates as well as locals take out a private health insurance plan.
All private medical centres must be approved and licensed by the Ministry of Health. An extensive network of both public and private hospitals exists throughout the country.
Malaysian hospitals and healthcare services are modern and of high international standard, with a wide range of diagnostic and therapeutic resources such as endoscopic suites, haemodialysis centres, cardiac catheterization and magnetic resonance-imaging facilities. These are in turn, operated by highly-qualified medical professionals. In fact Malaysia’s private healthcare industry is positively booming considering the quality of treatment and low cost (eg. about 40% lower than in neighbouring Singapore). Malaysia currently attracts many overseas patients for all kinds of private treatment, including cosmetic surgery, through its medical tourism programme. Some private hospitals cater specifically for medical tourists as well as locals. These hospitals offer luxurious private rooms and suites along with butler or nurse services. In addition, patients get to visit some fantastic tourist destinations in Kuala Lumpur while they recover and convalesce after treatment.
Malaysia also has an extensive network of rural health clinics and villagers in remote regions today have access to modern healthcare with referral facilities. Mobile teams, the flying doctor service and village health promoters provide healthcare to remote areas. The improvement to healthcare facilities in rural areas of Malaysia has been quite remarkable in the past few years.
Many hospitals and clinics in Kuala Lumpur offer excellent dental services. Dentists are governed by the Malaysian Dental Council which ensures a high quality of dental treatment. Other dental-related services available include Orthodontics, restorative surgery, aesthetic dentistry and dental implants.
You are advised to consult your GP before travelling for advice on vaccinations. As a general guide:
Malaria is present in some areas of East Malaysia (Sabah and Sarawak) and it is advisable to take malaria tablets if you are to visit this region. Visitors from several African and American countries must produce yellow fever vaccination certificates. Yellow fever vaccination is also required for arrivals of over one year of age, from Yellow Fever Endemic Zones. You are advised to ensure that your tetanus and polio vaccinations are kept up to date.
Tap water is generally safe to drink in the major towns or cities but many visitors prefer to drink filtered or bottled water. In rural villages it is recommended to drink only boiled, sterilized or bottled mineral water.
A high standard of food hygiene is prevalent in Malaysia and those involved in food preparation are subject to Ministry of Health controls and food handlers undergo regular screening against diseases. However, you are advised to be aware that these standards do not always extend to the street-side food stalls, so make sure their standards appear clean and the food is properly heated through.
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