Malaysia Malaysia Health Insurance News
In addition to offering much needed (and often hard to find) help and information for anyone considering health insurance in Malaysia, Malaysia Health Insurance is also working hard to create a convenient and informative outlet for health-related news. We understand that seeing the big picture when it comes to your medical insurance takes a lot more than just understanding your medical coverage options.
Read on to get an overview of typical healthcare conditions, some potential health concerns and your available insurance coverage options in Malaysia.
General Health Conditions And Concerns In Malaysia
In the last four decades, the general health of Malaysians has increased dramatically. Average life expectancy has risen steadily and is currently at 74 years - an increase of 25 years since 1960.
The leading cause of death in Malaysia is heart disease while other major killers include cancer, strokes and kidney diseases. Problems that are evidence of a modern society and common around the world.
Diseases once common in Malaysia such as tuberculosis, yaws and polio are now virtually eradicated. However, other communicable diseases still persist.
Regarding communicable diseases, a high number of diagnosed causes are attributed to vector-borne threats from mosquitoes such as malaria and dengue fever, as well as water-borne diseases including bacterial diarrhea, leptospirosis, schistosomiasis, and parasites. Hepatitis and typhoid are also prevalent.
While much improvement has been made in eradicating disease and vaccination initiatives have done a great deal to slow down the spread of many sicknesses, no one should minimize the risks associated with these diseases and all should take necessary action to protect themselves.
This may include visiting a doctor prior to travel to Malaysia for consultation about needed vaccines or boosters and anyone already living in the country should follow government guidelines about vaccinations and keeping critical medications available, should symptoms appear. This is especially important for anyone with children, as their condition can deteriorate very quickly if exposed to a serious health threat.
To learn more about disease in Malaysia read these reports by following the links below:
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - Malaysia
- Cardiovascular disease remains the number one killer in Malaysia
- Emerging and re-emerging diseases in Malaysia
- Malaysia warns of waterborne disease after deaths
- United Nations International Human Development Indicators – Malaysia's
- Malaysia Department of Statistics (English/Malay)
The State Of Healthcare In Malaysia
Despite its “developing nation” status, Malaysia generally does an exceptional job of offering high-quality medical care through both its public and private healthcare outlets.
The government dedicates 5% of its social development budget to public healthcare improvement through hospital and clinic modernization, however medical professionals salaries remain considerably lower than the private market.
Thanks to smart legislation which requires every Malaysian educated physician to spend at least four years serving the public healthcare sector, more doctors are available to serve the needs of the general public. This has served to slow down the frequent problem of doctors moving into private practice in search of higher salaries somewhat, though there is still perennially a shortage of doctors in both the private and public sectors.
While training is very modern and thorough for doctors, physician to patient ratio of 1 to 1,400 is still considered insufficient.
Treatments and equipment in major cities are very modern and almost any procedure can be accomplished within the country. Modern imaging, diagnostic methods and medical regulation are largely on par with more developed countries in North America and Europe.
Equipment, medicines and supplies are generally always readily available.
Where the public and private sectors diverge is in terms of personalized care, comfortable accommodations, privacy, and physician face-time.
Public hospitals tend to have a much higher doctor to patient ratio, double/triple/quadruple or ward-style room sharing, much more institutional interiors and sometimes quite long wait times for care (including occasional months-long waits for some procedures) due to the fact that about 90% of the population relies on public care.
Private hospitals on the other hand, seek to set themselves apart from their public counterparts by offering more comfortable, usually “western-style” interiors, private or double occupancy rooms and more access to your treating physician. The drawback is that cost of care from private hospitals and clinics is much more expensive than public outlets.
To learn more about the cost of care in Malaysia visit our Malaysia Medical Treatment Costs page.
One major hurdle to overcome in offering care for all in Malaysia is the lack of sufficient secondary healthcare infrastructure. While most small towns and villages will have a health outpost or clinic, it is not uncommon for patients to need to travel considerable distance (sometimes several hours) to access their nearest qualified public hospital.
Private hospitals are very rare in low population areas, limited almost exclusively to urban centers.
A few forward thinking groups have recently put together a "tele-primary care" system which utilizes the internet to provide doctor-to-doctor peer consultations for treatment of patients in more remote rural areas, reducing some of the need to travel to cities for almost any care beyond the very basic. It is hoped that this system will be expanded to include the entire country in the near future, as it has gained the support of the national government.
In an effort to strengthen both the public and private healthcare sectors, the Malaysian Government is actively supporting and promoting medical tourism, which is considered mutually beneficial for both the Malaysian economy and foreign visitors seeking quality care. This is anticipated to bring in individuals who will be expected to pay for all treatments in full without any subsidy from the government. However, an international insurance plan may cover some or all treatment costs.
Presently many private care facilities and doctors are investing heavily into the medical tourism industry in Malaysia, hoping it will be the economic motivator that will ease the current financial strains that the entire nation's healthcare system is facing.
To see what others are saying about Malaysia's Health Care, read some of the reports found at these links:
Health Insurance Options In Malaysia
In Malaysia, all permanent residents have their choice of either privately purchased healthcare or a government subsidized universal healthcare plan. Both plans provide access to care, though the public schemes will only allow their insured to use public healthcare facilities.
Private insurance, while more expensive, allows the insured to seek necessary treatment in Malaysia's very efficient, modern, clean and comfortable private hospitals and (depending on policy terms) can cover the entire cost of care.
Malaysia Public Health Insurance
While touted as “universal” coverage, the reality is that only about 40% of citizens are actually enrolled and contributing to the government subsidized healthcare plan. The remaining percentage are able to access care free of charge, entirely at the government's expense.
As a result, the public scheme is suspected by some to be nearing insolvency due to lack of funding and the government itself admits that drastic changes are forthcoming.
Furthermore, persons residing in Malaysia who are not employed by a Malaysian company, such as residents and expatriates working for foreign based companies, are not eligible for enrollment in the Malaysia public insurance system.
To learn more about the problems facing Malaysia's public health scheme visit the link below.
Malaysia Private Health Insurance
Given some of the misgivings of the public healthcare system in Malaysia; overcrowded facilities, overworked doctors, long wait times and a typically institutional atmosphere, many are happy to have the option of private insurance that comes with the ability to access the excellent private healthcare available in Malaysia.
While private healthcare is known for high-quality with high prices, the dozens of private insurers offering coverage in Malaysia are able to cover most or sometimes all of the cost for care in a private clinic or hospital, thus making it an easy, convenient, and affordable choice.
Additionally, coverage plans themselves are often very affordable, which is good news for anyone who does not qualify for the public health insurance systems coverage due to government regulations.
Contact Malaysia Health Insurance
For more information on general health conditions and to learn what type coverage may be best to protect the health of you and your family, talk to a Malaysia Health Insurance adviser. We have staff members who are fluent in most major languages and can be reached anytime. Simply complete an information request found at the top of the page, or click here for instant help.