Health Care in Malaysia

by Jose Marc Castro on August 8, 2009

FACTSABOUTIntlHealthINSURANCEThinking about moving into a country far away from your native homeland? Perhaps that thought has come across your mind for quite some time already. However, you are concerned with a lot of things. From adjustments to health care concerns, every detail has to be carefully scrutinized so that when the time comes that you are already prepared to move, you will not have to worry much even the littlest of details.

Moving to Malaysia is never a hassle, as far as the health care issue is concerned. Why is this so? Considered as the world’s sanctuary of health destination, Malaysia boasts of its high-end hospitals that provide the best services. Healthcare in Malaysia is divided into the private and public sectors with adequate coverage of medical needs for the population.

Malaysia is a Southeast Asian country with thirteen states and consisting of two different geographical regions that are divided by South China Sea. The rapid growing economy of Malaysia made a distinction, thus the nation is considered as the Asian Dragon.

Malaysia has diversified societies that pervade all throughout its whole regions. Chinese, Indians, and Malays constitute the whole social establishments. The country also has interesting fusions of interesting customs and vibrant cultures because of these diverse societies.

Health Care Systems of Malaysia

Malaysia is fortunate to have a very comprehensive range of the health services. The Malaysian government is very much committed to its principles of a universal access to high-quality health care in which the local Ministry of Health offers thru wide varieties of nationwide networks of clinics and hospitals. However, in spite of the dedication of the local government of Malaysia to provide the best possible health care, there are still some problems that are unsolved, and one of those is the unavailability of quality health care centers in remove areas. When patients are transferred from a specific health center to a more probable hospital, doing so not only incurs some inconveniences on the part of the patient and the family, but also adds costs to the health care systems. In order to deal with the issue, a tool has been designed called the tele primary care. This method helps the doctors on remote areas to discuss problem cases by tele-consultations with specialists and doctors on hospitals.

The Malaysian government is continually striving to make the healthcare system better but there is still a dearth of medical expertise in the country and their high concentration in the urban areas. The current efforts in the past few years have certainly made developments for the health care system in Malaysia.

The Evolution of Healthcare in Malaysia

The health care in Malaysia has notably undergone some radical transformations. The earliest pre-colonial medical cares were confined mostly on those traditional remedies that are evident today on local Chinese, Malays, and some other ethnic group populations. However, with the birth of colonialism, more modern and westernized medical practices are then slowly introduced to this country. Since its independence way back August of 1957, the different systems of medical care were then transferred from British colonial rules to meet the growing needs of proper health care in Malaysia.

At present, Malaysia is divided into two sectors—the public sectors and the private sectors. Doctor are generally required to render three years of serving in public hospitals throughout the whole nation, making it a point to provide adequate coverage of the medical needs of the general population. Foreign doctors are also encouraged to share their expertise in Malaysia.

Over the years, Malaysia has been continuously vigilant about their health care system. For emigrants who are planning to stay in Malaysia, the health care system of this Asian Dragon is one thing to be worried about. The presence of so many medical schools in this nation is enough to attest that Malaysia is really serious with their aim in providing quality health care not only to its residents but to its tourists, emigrants, and visitors as well.

One of the flagship projects of the Malaysian government in the past decade has been medical tourism. This provides for affordable costs for procedures and accommodations for this particular market segment.

Some Medical Issues in Malaysia

Very common among Asian countries are over-prescription of some doctors who think of nothing but how to gain much money from their patients. This particular is actually very rampant not only in Malaysia, but also in some neighboring Asian countries. Although there are some reductions of over-prescription cases, the problem still remains up to this day. Emigrants are warned about these issues as there are possibilities that they might come across with this. Additionally, problems about selling fake drugs have been recorded, according to major pharmaceutical firms in Malaysia but these problems have long been solved. Again, everybody should be cautious about it because safety and health are very important things.

The medical society of Malaysia also recommends all travelers, tourists, emigrants, and the likes to visit their personal physicians or travel health clinics at least four to eight weeks prior to departure. Vaccinations on the following possible medical problems should be properly done:

  • Hepatitis- recommended for all the travelers
  • Typhoid- recommended for the travelers who may drink or eat outside major hotels and restaurants
  • Yellow Fever- required for every traveler that is more than a year old of age upon arrival. Not recommended otherwise
  • Japanese Encephalitis- for long term traveler on rural areas, or those who may possibly be engaged in unprotected and extensive outdoor activities on rural areas
  • Hepatitis B- for travelers who have direct contacts with local residents. This is very important especially if the visit is more than six months.

Malaysia: Your Health Destination

Malaysia is also considered as a one-stop destination not only for tourism -associated needs but also for medical–related concerns. These concerns include cardiology, dentistry, gastroenterology, screenings, general surgery, orthopedics, ophthalmology, and plastic surgery.

Hospitals in Malaysia are considerably the best, with the latest medical equipments providing optimum performance. Along with those well-equipped hospitals, Malaysia also has the best medical practitioners who have earned their degrees in various medical schools and top universities in schools in the US.

Before you finally decide on moving to Malaysia, make it a point that you have carefully studied every possible aspect. Take time to browse over the Internet and read not only about the health care systems of Malaysia, but also the whole of Malaysia itself, meaning the history, cultural background, the geography, the people, and some other important facts about the nation. This is one way of getting acquainted to the place you are moving into, even before you are already there.

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

kanmson williams May 1, 2010 at 5:09 pm

Do you have any business in your country which we can invest money on ?. If you have this, I can speak with my Financial director and lawyer

your responds to thise e mail will be appriciated.




Petra October 23, 2010 at 9:03 am

Does anyone know if a life saving treatment can be with-held from an immigrant or visa holder because they are unable to pay money for the treatment?


mariche sumaylo November 18, 2010 at 7:56 pm

well i read your website and i got interested about your country… its very appreciating … thank you for sharing about your culture.


Trainee Paramedic January 7, 2011 at 1:57 pm

No life saving treatment can be with held. Period.


darren md January 23, 2011 at 10:57 am

healthcare in malaysia is 10 years behind india and 20 years behind the usa. The main facade is the architechture and the marketing. Hepatitis B and C surgeons are not mandatorily screened and many have been infected. Dont risk it.


xxxxxxx November 14, 2011 at 1:11 am

at least all rurals – remote areas wirhin jungles areas get free rm1 treatments..cant find in most part's of universal .even foreigners find heavenly earth here…for treatment… india eventhough ought to be said .. more advance and only benifitted to certain level of high class affordable clans the poors expecially indian origins can be seen majority in HTAR everyday..


milah October 6, 2011 at 5:16 am

Malaysia is fortunate to have a very comprehensive range of healthcare services. The Malaysian government is very committed to its principles of universal access to high-quality healthcare, which the local Ministry of Health offers through a network of nationwide clinics and hospitals. However, in spite of the dedication of the local government, there are still some problems that are unsolved, and one of those is the unavailability of quality healthcare centres in remote areas. Transferring a patient from a specific health centre to a more general hospital incurs some inconveniences on the part of the patient and the family, and also adds a cost to the healthcare system. In order to deal with the issue, a tool called “Tele-primary Care” has been designed. This allows doctors in remote areas to discuss problem cases through Tele-consultations with specialists and doctors in other hospitals.


xxxxxxx November 14, 2011 at 1:20 am

improving year to year and bettered..where in the world ones or foreigner can get equall treatment for 30 cent or for foreigner US 1.30 cents..with no chauvism in minds


Peter October 14, 2011 at 2:10 am

Health care in Malaysia is ridiculous! Bad service! Expensive! and Doctors are just incompetent!


ved January 27, 2016 at 8:14 am

Exactly like I wrote, I can write a book on it. Hopefully one day I will.


tom October 27, 2011 at 5:34 am

I just had a worker discharged from hospital unable to walk or stand on his own… they wheeled him out to the foyer and left him there for us to pick him up… btw.. he was operated on 2 days ago.. so still fresh wounds….. this is the public health system of Malaysia I see…..not to my expectation


tvgshan July 10, 2012 at 5:18 pm

It is easy to condemn. What were the circumstances for the relatively early discharge. The public hospitals have an open door policy, they admit cases whether the beds are full or not. When beds are scarce, the main things have been done, then early discharge is a serious option, to make way for more ill cases.


Anonymous January 23, 2018 at 7:40 am

Sorry, here is the truth:

Malaysia has a really good range of medicare, and the staff (many, not all) are very good at appearing to be doing their job correctly. This is the common trend: note symptom(s), have a list of diagnoses in mind and select the one that benefits, then find medication/treatment.

Sadly, a staggering number of people fail to question or/and seek further, reason because they have the mindset that ‘the medic elements know better, so they cannot be wrong’.

For my medical case, I’ve consulted a number of medical staffs, ranging from specialists to authorised alternative medical doctors, all performed as the aforementioned trend which resulted in further complication.

Recently a specialist explained to me this: “When doctors don’t know, they will find safe answer to either end their business on the patient, not needing to care further, or will pass the entire case to another department/doctor.”

I could go on, but here’s my advise: be really careful with the medical world in this country, use your rights, and don’t fall victim. Best of luck to us.


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