About Malaysia & Healthcare

About Malaysia

The Federation of Malaysia comprises Peninsular Malaysia (or West Malaysia), and the states of Sabah and Sarawak which are located on the island of Borneo. The country has a total land area of 329,758 square km and is made up of 13 states and three Federal Territories of Kuala Lumpur (the capital), Putrajaya and Labuan. Malaysia is situated in South-eastern Asia, between 2 and 7 degrees north of the Equator. To the north of Peninsular Malaysia is Thailand while Singapore lies in its south. The climate is tropical with warm and wet weather all year round. The temperature ranges from 21°C (70° F) to 32°C (90° F) throughout the day. The general weather is humid with annual rainfall varying from 2,000mm to 2,500mm.

Dubbed as "Mini Asia", Malaysia is a multi-racial and multi-ethnic country where the majority of the 28.3 million (2010) population are made up of Malays, Chinese and Indian. In addition, there are some 29 ethnic groups including the majority groups of Dayaks (in Sarawak) and Kadazans (in Sabah). The national language is Bahasa Melayu, although English is widely used and spoken. The Mandarin language and Chinese dialects, particularly Cantonese and Hokkien, as well as Indian dialects like Tamil and Hindi are common among the Chinese and Indian communities respectively.

Islam is the official religion of the nation. However, the Malaysian Constitution guarantees freedom of worship and as such, Christianity, Hinduism and Buddhism make up the other primary religions embraced by the Malaysian society.

Since Malaysia gained independence in 1957, it has evolved into a high technology nation and has experienced steady economic progression and rapid infrastructure development which Malaysians are truly proud of. Today, Malaysia continues to thrive in its ventures. It has become more efficient and competitive globally. According to the 2010 World Competitive Yearbook published by the Swiss-based Institute for Management Development (IMD), Malaysia had an overall ranking of 10th most competitive countries in the world. IMD's World Competitiveness Yearbook reports on the competitiveness of nations through the Overall Competitiveness Scoreboard which ranks the world's 57 leading economic nations. It takes into consideration an economic performance, government efficiency, business efficiency and infrastructure.

The 10th Malaysia Plan (10MP) covers the period from 2011 to 2015 and is part of the governments goal of becoming a developed nation by 2020. Among the highlights of the 10MP are new approaches towards becoming a high income and high productivity economy. The gross national income per capita is targeted to increase from the current RM23,567 or USD7,365, (in 2009) to RM38,850 or USD12,140, in 2015.

Twelve National Key Economic Areas (NKEAs) have been identified to boost the economy on the basis of contribution to high income, sustainability and inclusiveness. They include: oil and gas, palm oil and related products, financial services, wholesale and retail, tourism, information and communications technology, education, electrical and electronics, business services, private healthcare, agriculture as well as the Greater Kuala Lumpur revitalisation.

Malaysia is also a popular destination for tourists. Lonely Planet, one of the most widely read travel guidebooks, picked Malaysia as one of the worlds top destination for 2010. The Lonely Planet praises Malaysia for its diversity from its cities to the rainforests as well as multicultural elements of its people.

Malaysia is currently the worlds 11th most preferred education destination. According to UNESCO, Malaysia has captured a 2% market share of international students in the fast growing private education sector. With a population of 27.9 million in 2009 and more than a million Malaysian students in tertiary education, Malaysia also accommodates more than 80,000 international students.

There are many advantages in choosing Malaysia for your private health and medical requirements (public health services are mainly for locals). Private medical charges and hospitalisation costs in Malaysia are very competitive compared to those in many developed countries. Malaysian medical expertise is also ranked among the best in the world.

For example, a normal cardiac bypass surgery (CABG) would cost in the region of USD8,OOO - USD12,OOO whereas the same procedure will be likely to cost double in other countries.

Another reason to consider Malaysia is the wide choice of state-of-the-art private medical centres available. These establishments are well-equipped and staffed to serve the healthcare needs of people from all over the world. Medical specialists in the country are highly qualified professionals, and supported by well-trained para-medical staff and sophisticated medical equipment. All private medical centres are approved and licensed by the Ministry of Health. Many of the private medical centres have also achieved certification for internationally recognised quality standards, for example, accreditation by Joint Commission International (JCI), the Malaysian Society for Quality of Health (MSQH) and ISO.

Furthermore, most private medical centres in Malaysia offer comfortable and well-appointed accommodation, ranging from suites to private rooms for single or shared occupancy. Room charges, inclusive of meals, vary between medical centres but remain competitively priced.

So make your medical treatment a better experience by coming to Malaysia. Affordable and professional, Malaysia offers so much more!

• Study in Malaysia Handbook (8th International Edition), published by Challenger Concept (M) Sdn Bhd
• Ministry of Tourism Malaysia Official Portal, http://www.motour.gov.my/en.html
• Tourism Malaysia Official Website, http://www.tourism.gov.my/
• Tourism Malaysia Wikipedia Page, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tourism_Malaysia

Why Malaysia is a Top Choice of Healthcare Destination

There is a growing emphasis on the importance of healthcare among the public. Nowadays, patients seek more affordable healthcare treatment, prefer shorter waiting times and demand high quality services and standards from their healthcare service providers. To meet their expectations, patients are now willing to travel to other countries to receive treatment that also give them value for money. Taking into account all these considerations, Malaysia is now considered a preferred destination when it comes to healthcare services or medical treatment.

Health institutions in Malaysia are constantly upgraded to accommodate patients' needs and to provide comfort and customer satisfaction. These include the installation of advanced facilities and equipment and using cutting edge technology in imaging, surgery and diagnostic procedures at various institutions. In Malaysia, all private medical centres are approved and licensed by the Ministry of Health. Many of the private medical centres have achieved certification for internationally recognised quality standards, for example, accreditation by Joint Commission International (JCI), the Malaysian Society for Quality of Health (MSQH) and International Organisation for Standardization (ISO). Furthermore, highly qualified and skilled doctors as well as other medical personnel share the traits of warmth and friendliness that has made Malaysia a unique destination for healthcare and wellness. Medical professionals are also given regular training and international exposure to ensure their ability to offer services matches international best practices and remain competent with the rest of the world.

Another reason why Malaysia is so attractive is because of the relatively lower cost of healthcare compared to the rest of the world. Most private medical centres in Malaysia also offer comfortable and well-appointed accommodation, ranging from suites to private rooms for single or shared occupancy. Room charges, inclusive of meals, vary from one medical centre to another but remain competitively priced. With the money saved from the higher charges back in their home country, patients can instead to use the money to travel around Malaysia while recuperating after receiving treatment or surgery. Whether the patient wishes to soak up in the sun on Malaysia's pristine beaches, explore primeval jungles, shop for the latest designer brands at ultra-modern shopping complexes or indulge in some of the finest gourmet food the world has to offer, Malaysia has something for everyone.

Complementing the well-equipped medical facilities and expertise in Malaysia are its political stability, favourable exchange rate and accessibility which make the country the ideal destination for those who seek quality healthcare with peace of mind. Malaysia has all the advantages of allowing tourists to experience world-class medical treatment in a multi-cultural environment with excellent food and travel in one affordable package.

Another top reason why you should select Malaysia as your next health or medical travel destination: is that you will find that the majority of hospital staff is English speaking (with good fluency in the language), so you will be able to communicate easily when expressing your needs and concerns.

Come to Malaysia to experience the value for money coupled with the state-of-the-art health wellness and medical services provided by medical centres in Malaysia.

Medical services are available for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes. A large number of diagnostic procedures are available in the form of blood tests or by sampling other body tissues, and by biomedical imaging facilities (using some form of imaging such as "x-rays", CT or MRI scanning, ultrasound, isotopes and other imaging techniques. Therapeutic services available can either be medical or surgical, and these can be further subdivided by specialty.

Screening services are also available, but not for all disease conditions. Screening is most often done to try and detect cancers by looking for certain "markers" that are associated with certain types of cancers. You are advised to find out more information about the medical services of your interest before making your mind.