Malaysia’s growing economy is attracting talent from all over the world, and expats bound for Malaysia can rest assured the country’s healthcare system provides top quality care, according to insurer MediCare International. Malaysia has even become a medical tourism destination in recent years, particularly for surgical procedures.
Though Malaysia’s health system is well-regarded, expats must arrange for private health insurance prior to arrival. Coverage is a requirement for a work visa.
Since the majority of the country’s hospitals and clinics are clustered in and around major cities such as Kuala Lumpur, expats who will be working in remote areas (particularly those employed in resource industries) should make sure their policies cover emergency evacuation. Air transport is often the only way of reaching a hospital from the Malaysian jungle.
MediCare notes that while many employers provide expats with insurance for the duration of their stay in Malaysia, independent contractors, subcontractors and non-profit workers are often required to purchase policies themselves. These should cover both emergency care and doctor’s visits, as well as dental care. Expats whose families will be joining them in Malaysia should make sure coverage extends to their spouses and children.
David Pryor, Senior Executive Director at MediCare International, says, “Malaysia offers excellent healthcare for those living and working there who are adequately insured. The standards of diagnosis and treatment in the larger centres are world class, however the position in some of the remoter areas is more complex and costs can be high. We have treated clients who demonstrated apparently mundane symptoms, a trapped nerve, chest pains and breathing difficulties, for example. In each of these cases, the medical bill ran into many thousands of pounds and in the case of the client with the trapped nerve, the fees exceeded £30,000. You should therefore always remember to read your policy carefully to ensure you are covered for likely eventualities, including evacuation cover, which is often needed in a country such as Malaysia. If you have your family with you and they are not covered through your main employment contract, you can still obtain high quality protection by taking out top up cover.”