Medical Tourism Malaysia
Visa Requirements: A valid passport is required. US citizens do not need a visa.
Foreign visitors often choose Malaysia for medical treatment due to the low cost of procedures and care and also the attractive options available for the recuperation period. The Malaysian government is promoting the country as a medical tourism hub and all kinds of treatments are available at world class facilities including general and cosmetic surgery as well as high quality dental care.
Pros: Many private clinics and medical centers in Malaysia are well-equipped and staffed by highly-trained specialists and medical staff. In fact, Malaysian specialists rank among the best in the world in terms of training and expertise. In order for private facilities to operate they must be licensed by the Malaysian Ministry of Health and those marketing their services to foreigners will have achieved international certification standards. English is spoken at all of these facilities. In addition, the country’s capital acts as a major Asian transport centre, making getting here easy.
Currency exchange rates between the Malaysian currency and the US dollar make the country an affordable destination for medical tourists. Prices for surgery and accommodation compare very favorably with costs that would be incurred for similar treatments in western nations. Cardiac procedures draw a substantial number of patients to Malaysia. Costs in Malaysia for cardiac bypass surgery are typically US$6,000 to US$7,000, in comparison to in the US, where the same procedure runs as high as US$50,000 to US$125,000.
Cons: Terrorist activity can be a concern for visitors to Malaysia, as it can be with visits to any country in Southeast Asia. The state of Sabah in the east of the country is one place in particular that foreigners are warned about visiting. The risk of kidnapping is prevalent here, and tourists that want to enjoy diving off the coast of Sabah are advised to stay at resorts geared to western visitors and to use only recommended dive operators.
Medical tourists from all parts of the globe choose Malaysia for the high quality of medical treatment on offer, provided in world-class facilities. The government is busy promoting the country as a medical tourism hub with both critical care as well as preventative care offered. Cardiac procedures are particularly popular, but a wide array of other procedures is available.
While Kuala Lumpur is the country’s hub for health care, Penang is catching up. Here popular health packages include an executive health screening plan which offers a series of tests such as a chest X-ray, an electrocardiogram and blood screening for a cost of approximately US$160. Other facilities on the island of Penang include a cardiac center, a laser eye surgery center and a fertility center.
Although not as popular as neighboring Thailand for cosmetic surgery, Malaysia nevertheless offers world class plastic surgery facilities that draw huge numbers of medical tourists each year. Kuala Lumpur is the main hub for plastic surgery procedures, closely followed by Penang. The local government in Penang has been actively promoting the private clinics and hospitals on the island for various cosmetic treatments and plastic surgeries. The best clinics and hospitals here draw medical tourists from around the world and feature centers providing special services for patients arriving from abroad. Popular treatments include face lifts, rhinoplasty and ear and eye surgeries.
Many of Malaysia’s top hospitals have excellent dental centers that attract medical tourists with their low prices and high quality treatment. In addition, there are dozens of dental clinics spread throughout the capital serving medical tourists. All types of dental procedures can be executed here including teeth whitening, fillings, bridges, veneers and implants. Cosmetic dentistry is particularly popular among visitors looking to combine treatment with a holiday.
Alternative treatments such as acupuncture and Ayurveda can be found at practitioners in Malaysia, but the government is yet to promote this sector of its medical tourism industry to foreigners.
Malaysia is a leader in Asian health spas and attracts many foreign visitors looking to indulge in pampering. Many of the country’s spas are set in scenic beachside locations such as Langkawi and Penang, while others are situated in the capital, Kuala Lumpur. Health spas typically offer stress management advice and a range of massage and hydrotherapies.