With a score of 95 points out of 100, Malaysia has been ranked first as the world's best in healthcare with its world-class healthcare services and sophisticated infrastructure.
According an index report by the International Living website, the five other top-ranking countries that obtained the best ratings in the category of Best Healthcare in the World for this year are: France (2nd), Thailand (3rd), Ecuador (4th), Mexico and Costa Rica (5th).
Malaysia took the top spot in the Healthcare category of Annual Global Retirement Index 2019 which was published recently.
The healthcare in the Southeast Asian gem is simply world class with up-to-date and sophisticated infrastructure, said the report.
With 13 JCI accredited hospitals in the country and almost every doctor fluent in English. In fact, most doctors were trained in the UK, US, or Australia so communicating is flawless. It’s not surprising it’s a top medical tourist destination, according to the report.
The Joint Commission International is considered the gold standard in healthcare assessment around the globe, and it certifies four hospitals in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia’s bustling capital, and two in Penang.
There are private and public hospitals and expats can choose whichever one suits their needs. The private hospitals tend to be a bit more expensive but are more up to Western standards than the public hospitals. Even at the private hospitals, the treatment is so affordable that for minor visits some people pay out of pocket.
Here, a patient does not need an appointment to see a specialist, and he does not need a referral from a GP. It’s as simple as registering at a hospital of your choice and waiting in line to see your specialist of choice.
Prescriptions in Malaysia cost a fraction of what you pay at home. But it’s not just the cost that’s attractive -- it’s the service. The pharmacists, like the rest of Malaysia’s medical staff, are well trained and informed. Malaysians are friendly people, but it’s the genuine interest that they take which impresses.
“Recently, I decided on a whim to have a medical. I’d never had one done before and as I had a free morning, I decided just to pop in to the Lam Wah Eee Hospital. I was already registered and found myself sitting outside a GP’s office not five minutes after arriving. Within an hour, I had been examined by a doctor, had an ECG and blood and urine tests done…and I was on my way home,” said Keith Hockton, Malaysia correspondent of International Living in Penang.
“The total cost of the visit was just $44. The doctor who had examined me called me later that afternoon with the results. It’s this level of service that makes medical in Malaysia not only an attractive option but also a non-scary one. It’s all so easy,” he said.