Truly Asia, Malaysia is a kaleidoscope of experiences as it offers travelers its unique cuisine, breathtaking natural sights, and even affordable top-notch medical care with the signature warmth and hospitality of the locals. In 2016, the Southeast Asian country was recognized by the IMTJ Medical Travel Awards as “Health and Medical Tourism Destination of the Year”, its second consecutive win.
Malaysia as a Medical Tourism Destination: One of Asia’s Leading Healthcare Destinations
Considered a hidden gem for medical tourism until 2009, Malaysia has truly become an excellent choice for healthcare travelers. Catering to international patients, Malaysia boasts of English-speaking medical professionals, as well as support and regulation by the Ministry of Health Malaysia through the Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council.
High savings on medical treatments and the same high quality of healthcare combine with Malaysia’s amazing tourist sites and activities, making the country a hub for medical travelers. In fact, over 850, 000 medical tourists traveled to Malaysia in 2015. The Southeast Asian country is popular for those seeking cosmetic surgery and dermatology treatments, executive health check ups, as well as dental treatments such as dental implants and veneers. Cosmetic procedures can be sought for almost half the price in the UK and the US.
Regardless of popularity, patients can find every type of cosmetic, elective, medically necessary, or dental procedure in Malaysia. The Association of Private Hospitals of Malaysia lists over 35 medical centers and hospitals in operation with several successfully meeting the international standards of JCI accreditation. Medical specialists are often internationally trained, having worked in the UK, Australia or the United States.
For a list of medical treatments, clinics and hospitals in Malaysia and more information, browse through our directory.
Malaysia for Travelers and Medical Tourists
Holidaymakers and medical tourists alike have within their reach a bustling metropolis, traditional villages, extraordinary jungles and beautiful beaches when they visit Malaysia. Medical tourists routinely rave about how friendly and nice the people are. This same hospitality extends to how they assist and care for their patients. The country’s unique culture is derived from a charming mix of ethnicities, cultures, and customs.
Travelers are sure to appreciate the fact that it’s a hassle-free destination. Transportation is readily available, and it’s very easy to navigate around Malaysia with most sights accessible by foot. In some of Malaysia’s major cities, you may feel comfortingly at home thanks to the Western-style industrial development. Backed by favorable exchange rates, the capital of Kuala Lumpur is rife with shopping opportunities in its amazing retail district and shopping malls such as the shopping, fashion and entertainment district of Bukit Bintang. Popular cityscapes include the famous Petronas Twin Towers.
For the more outdoorsy traveler, Malaysia’s sandy beaches are sure to be a siren call. Sophisticated resorts lie in both directions, Terengganu in the east and Langkawi in the west. Malacca and Penang, on the other hand, offer an insight to the history of Malaysia. Go wild with Malaysia’s amazing biodiversity and jungle wildlife. See orangutans at the Sepilok Orangutan Sanctuary and go on any of the number of guided tours around the country.
If you’re considering a medical trip to Malaysia, make sure to check with your doctor first and plan accordingly. For other helpful resources on medical tourism, our medical tourism FAQs can answer some common questions about getting medical and dental care abroad.
Malaysia Travel Notes
Contrasting the modern and sophisticated city structures, serene beaches and national parks offer a peaceful backdrop for your recuperation during your medical getaway. Here are some points to keep in mind as you plan your trip:
Traveling to and around Malaysia
- Malaysian Embassies: http://embassy.goabroad.com/embassies-of/malaysia#
- Foreign Embassies in Malaysia: http://embassy.goabroad.com/embassies-in/malaysia
- Official Malaysia tourism website:
- Official Healthcare Travel Council website: https://www.mhtc.org.my/
- Local News (in English)
- The New Straits Times Press: http://www.nst.com.my/
- Visa required: No
- Immunizations required: None
- Public health considerations: Mosquitoes tend to be present year-round, although the risk for malaria is insignificant in Kuala Lumpur and Penang. Drink only bottled or boiled water. Don’t drink tap water, fountain drinks, or drinks with ice cubes. Use great caution – or avoid – eating food from street vendors.
- International airport: Kuala Lumpur International Airport
- Transportation modes: bus, taxi, monorail and trains
- Languages spoken: Malay (official language); as a former British colony, English is widely spoken
- People: Malay (the majority group), Chinese, and Indian
- Infrastructure: First World
- Currency: Malaysian Ringitt (RM)
- Time zone: GMT+8
- Country phone code: 60
- Electricity: 220V to 240V, 50Hz
- Weights and measures: Metric system
- Elevation concerns: No
- Climate: The climate in Malaysia is tropical. Expect sunshine with warm to hot temperatures and humid conditions for the majority of the year. The rainy season runs from November to January.
- Clothing: Light clothing is recommended. Note that fine dining establishments require appropriate attire.
- Getting online: Fax, Internet, and e-mail services typically are available in all major hotels. You also can find many cybercafés in major tourist destinations.
Cultural Tips and Local Etiquette
- Dress conservatively and remove footwear when entering places of worship. Women should wear long sleeves and loose pants.
- Don’t touch an adult’s head.
- Don’t point the bottom of your feet at any individual.
- Don’t shake hands with women unless they offer to do so first.
- Don’t point using your index finger. Instead, use your thumb with your four fingers folded into the palm of your hand.