Malaysia has many well equipped, modern hospitals with state of the art equipment and well qualified doctors and nurses. These are mostly found in the major cities and once you get into the countryside you cannot expect to find the same types of facilities. If proximity to good medical facilities is important to you then choosing to live close to a major city like Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Johor and Kota Kinabulu makes sense.
As a general rule you are advised to go to private hospitals as the free government hospitals do not always have the same quality and facilities. The cost of seeing a doctor is very reasonable and it is relatively easy to see a specialist and unlike some countries you do not require a referral from a General Practioner (GP) before you can get access to them. Charges for a consultation usually run around RM30 – RM80 for a GP and RM80 – RM150 for a specialist.
The advancement in facilities has reached a point where Malaysia actively promotes Health Tourism and it has slowly been gaining in popularity as word spreads about the quality of medical services available in Malaysia. There is active competition from neighbouring countries like Thailand and Singapore which have been promoting health tourism for a longer period but Malaysia has some advantages.
All private hospitals in Malaysia are approved and licensed by the Ministry of Health. Most of the private medical centres have achieved certification from internationally recognised quality standards such as MS ISO 9002. Many have also been accredited by the Malaysian Society for Quality Health (MSQH). Many people are coming to Malaysia for elective surgery including plastic surgery. Europeans are finding the cost of treatment including a linked vacation package is cheaper than the medical costs they would pay back home.
Private hospitals are increasingly focusing on offering excellent accommodation and facilities. One hospital opened a special floor which resembles a luxury hotel more than a hospital. Their Presidential Suite comes with a living room, dining area, meeting room and even a waiting area. The facilities include refrigerator, microwave, fax machine and even Playstation. To ensure the perfect stay a dedicated butler service is included.
Full dental healthcare is also available including cosmetic surgery and dental implants. Foreigners are also attracted to Malaysia by the increasing number of health spas as well as other forms of medical treatment such as acupuncture, reflexology and chiropractic. The wide spread use of English among the educated medical staff also makes getting treatment and explaining problems a lot easier for English speaking foreigners.