Malaysia has a wonderful health care system with extremely high standards, which allows the country to be a major medical tourism destination. Malaysia's healthcare offers affordable and accessible coverage to locals and expats. English-speaking doctors who trained in the U.S. and U.K. can be found, but access is limited in rural areas.
Malaysia's healthcare has a private and a public sector, operated by a state-owned healthcare system and is topped up by a private healthcare system. The Malaysian government operates public clinics and hospitals through the Ministry of Health. The Private sector care can be very expensive, but is still much less expensive than in places like the USA.
Since Malaysia is rapidly becoming an educational center, there are 5,000 doctors graduating annually. Doctors in Malaysia are required to spend three years working in the public sector before they are allowed to work in private healthcare, and foreign students are also highly encourage to do so before returning home. That being said, there is very little to incentive for them to stay in public hospitals in clinics after the requisite time has been met, the private sector is generally considered to have better care. Health officials say that there is a distinct lack of specialty doctors in Malaysia, a concern that the government is trying to figure out ways to address.
Most doctors in Malaysia speak more than language, often one of them is English. English is the official language used for care notes about patients. Public clinics and hospitals are funded by taxes. Private care can be expensive, and you will need to have health insurance. Regular checkups are not covered by most policies. These visits typically will cost RM 48-64, and payment is expected upfront.
To set up a personal physician, visit your local hospital and register with a doctor of your choice. Once this has been done, it is generally not necessary to set up an appointment, as most visits are by walk-in.
It is not necessary to get a referral to visit specialists, but they do require appointments and access is much more common in the private sector.
To get personal recommendations, connect with the local expat community through forums and ask about referrals.
Dental clinics are plentiful in Malaysia. If you see a sign that reads Klinik Pergigian, you've found a dental clinic. For a dental appointment, simply pick a clinic and register with them. You can call or walk in to do so. Dental care usually requires an appointment.
Malaysia requires all dentists to take an annual exam to renew their license to practice, so it is essential to make sure your dentist has a current license. If in doubt, the license will often be displayed in the office.
For emergencies, dial 999 from a landline or 112 if you're using a mobile phone.
Ambulance services are funded by the government and payment for transportation to an emergency hospital is not required. However, note that ambulances do not carry medical equipment and there is no paramedic service. Also be aware that there is no service provided from an emergency hospital to another hospital. You will have to make your own way there.
Kuala Lumpur has many hospitals, but the best public and private hospitals in Kuala Lumpur include:
Kuala Lumpur Medical Center
187, Jalan Ampang
Taman U Thant
50450 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan
+603 - 2787 0866 / +6017 - 4760866
Hospital Angkatan Tentera Tuanku Mizan
53300 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Phone:+60 3-4145 4200
Jalan Bukit Pantai
Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
+60 3-2296 0888
Prince Court Medical Centre
39, Jalan Kia Peng, 50450 Kuala Lumpur,
Wilayah Persekutuan, Malaysia
+60 3-2160 0000
Sunway Medical Centre
Jalan Lagoon Selatan,
Bandar Sunway, 46150
Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia
+60 3-7491 9191
Tung Shin Hospital
102, Jalan Pudu, 50200 Kuala Lumpur,
Wilayah Persekutuan ,Malaysia
+60 3-2012 1655
Malaysia is not short of pharmacies. Public hospitals and clinics operate their own pharmaceutical care, but there are also several private pharmacies. Opening times for pharmacies vary, with shops in major cities open late. Many of the private clinics also have their own pharmacies, which are often open 24 hours.
Pharmacies are well stocked and many drugs that require a doctor's prescription overseas are freely available in Malaysia.
There are two main pharmacies in Malaysia, Cosway and Guardian, which can be found in most neighborhoods but may be difficult to locate rural areas. To spot Cosway, look for a sign with a rainbow and write front. Guardian's sign has white front and with a blue and orange background. To locate a pharmacy, look for a red sign that says farmasi.
With so much to deal with before leaving your home country, (taxes, moving house, paperwork etc.) the careful planning of your expatriation to Kuala Lumpur is an essential step. As far as healthcare is concerned, your local social security scheme won’t be accompanying you to your host country and, once abroad, you might be surprised by the care system you find in Malaysia. So, before leaving, make sure you have appropriate cover!
EasyExpat.com works in partnership with APRIL International to provide specific insurance solutions for travelling or staying outside your country of nationality.
Designed for either short or long stays, APRIL International’s insurance policies offer protection against any problems that might arise before departure or during your time in Malaysia: cancelling your trip, medical expenses following an illness or accident, needing to be repatriated, causing damage to a third party or losing your luggage.
For more information on expat health insurance in Malaysia, visit our partner APRIL International