The Malaysian government invests great effort in improving and developing its health care system. Also, the budget flowing into the public health sector has considerably increased during the last years.
The health care system in Malaysia provides universal access to all its residents. It is divided into the government-run public sector and a private health care system. Many physicians have been educated in Western countries and the majority of the medical stuff speaks English. In addition, foreign doctors are encouraged by the government to take up employment in Malaysia.
Malaysia does not hold any reciprocal medical care agreements with other countries. Tourists and other visitors to Malaysia, who do not have a Malaysian residence, have therefore to consult private doctors and visit private medical institutions. The costs can be very high and the private clinics require immediate payments, so it is highly recommended to take out travel insurance.
For more information regarding expat health care, insurance and related issues in Malaysia, please visit our expat health channel at ExpatHealth.org.
Current health care issues
Although medical care and public and private institutions are abundantly available, some remote areas still suffer under-supply. Take this into consideration if you do not intend to stay in Malaysia's urban areas. However, the government is striving to solve the problem, with the first step being to maintain the system of telehealth. This means that doctors from rural and remote areas can seek consultation from specialists in hospitals via different sorts of telecommunication, like videoconferencing.
A further problem is also the health care gap which is still separating the public from the private sector. Both sectors provide excellent specialists and equipments. Yet due to the high number of public sector patients, public institutions struggle with long waiting hours and a lack of personal attention from the doctors whereas private insurance tends to be too expensive.