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Navigating the Healthcare Maze in Malaysia

This article is brought to you by Cigna Global.

Malaysia is renowned for its highly ranked standards of medical care, generally more affordable treatment and readily available English-speaking doctors. Indeed, the country has earned a place amongst the world’s top medical tourism destinations. But is the system built to accommodate expatriates’ needs?

How does the system work?

Healthcare in Malaysia is funded by the government, employers and individuals, and it is operated by state-owned services that can be complemented with private healthcare. The system may seem confusing to navigate, especially when it comes to choosing between public or private care, finding the right doctor, and getting affordable treatment.

The Malaysian healthcare system comprises two tiers; public universal healthcare for citizens and private healthcare. Only nationals of Malaysia and permanent residents can have access to the public system, and Malaysia does not have any reciprocal health care agreements with other countries – which makes it challenging for foreign nationals to benefit from healthcare services in Malaysia.

The downside

In spite of the top quality of healthcare providers, there are still some unsolved problems, and one of them is the reported shortage of quality healthcare in remote areas.

Most quality healthcare centres of Malaysia are in major cities, such as in Kuala Lumpur. Rural or more remote areas of the country don’t seem to count with the same level of quality and availability of good medical facilities. Having to transfer patients from health centres to more equipped hospitals is not uncommon, and can be inconvenient for patients.

The benefits of private healthcare

Even though it’s more expensive, private healthcare has some advantages over public, as with the private option there is usually more availability of doctors and less overcrowding in hospitals. Because of the higher proportion of doctors per patients with private healthcare, waiting times for medical treatment are usually shorter.

A private medical insurance policy can also help to complement any health insurance provided by employers.

A solution for expat health insurance

Since the government does not offer a national medical scheme for foreign nationals in Malaysia, taking up a private health insurance plan is a must.

International health insurance plans are particularly valuable for expats who travel regularly, and Cigna Global have created a products suite specifically designed for these needs. Cigna Global plans are flexible to suit your needs – you can choose from distinct levels of cover, and add optional additional benefits, including outpatient care, medical evacuation, and vision and dental care. To find out more about Cigna Global or to get a quote, visit cignaglobal.com.




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