Health Tips in Malaysia


Health Tips When Moving to Malaysia – Expatfinder Articles


Purchasing an international health insurance policy before moving to Malaysia is a good idea. Malaysian health plans can be quite expensive.

Getting private health insurance is the best way of ensuring that you do not have to wait for surgery or medical treatment in the country.  


The Malaysian government invests a lot of money in the development of health infrastructure in the country. The healthcare system comprises public and private medical facilities, both of which have state of the art facilities and well-trained staff. The country does not have reciprocal agreements with other countries, and healthcare costs can be on the higher side (although less than the US and other Western countries).  

Private hospitals and clinics expect immediate payment which is why health insurance makes economic sense. Beware of private hospitals and doctors that tend to overcharge patients, often prescribing treatments that may not be necessary. 

Medical facilities tend to be concentrated in urban areas, and it is difficult to come across good hospitals in rural areas. Besides this, the public healthcare system is overburdened with patients and those seeking treatment in public hospitals may have to grapple with a long waiting time. 


Are you covered? Free Health Insurance Quotes in Malaysia

Get FREE quotes from leading global Insurers to compare and find a plan suits you best.

Get Free Quote



Both public hospitals and private hospitals provide quality healthcare facilities. Many public hospitals are often better equipped than private facilities. Most private hospitals and clinics expect immediate payment. It is easier to find good hospitals in urban areas rather than rural areas.  


Pharmacies in the country are well stocked, and medication is not very expensive. Certain drugs are classified as prescription drugs: they are marked from "A to D and P2" on the package. Others marked "NP" are over the counter drugs. Malaysia strictly enforces the availability of restricted drugs against prescription. Over the counter drugs are available in pharmacies, supermarkets, hotels and shopping centers.  


Malaysian doctors are well trained. Three years service in public hospitals is mandatory for all doctors in the country. Dental care in Malaysia has developed only recently. The country offers high standards of healthcare today though a shortage in the number of dentists remains.  

Emergency Numbers

Police/Ambulance: 999

Fire: 994 

In Case of an Emergency

The Ministry of Health is the main provider of ambulance services in Malaysia. Several other institutions like university hospitals, private clinics and organizations such as Civil Defense 3, Malaysian Red Crescent Society and the St. John Ambulance of Malaysia run their own ambulance facilities.

The quality of service and response, however, is far from satisfactory. In case of an emergency, keep a list of local hospitals with emergency sections handy and get there on your own if you can walk or drive. 

Health Risks 

Before moving to Malaysia, ensure that you get vaccinations for Hepatitis A and B, Typhoid, Japanese Encephalitis, Measles, Mumps, Diphtheria, Rubella, Pertussis (whooping cough), Tetanus, Polio, Dengue, and Malaria. Most diseases are spread through insect bites due to which use of mosquito nets and insect repellents is advised. The climate is very humid, and it could take some getting used to. Wear loose, long, cotton clothes. Meanwhile, stay hydrated and avoid long hours in the Sun. Avoid the temptation of street food. 


Photo: Phalinn Ooi