Malaysia is one the fastest emerging destinations for medical tourism in Asia, mainly catering for Asian health travelers.
According to the Association of Private Hospitals of Malaysia (APHM), the majority of Malaysia’s medical tourists come from Indonesia mainly due to the superior quality of healthcare that Malaysia offers. The same reason draws health travelers from other Asian countries like Bangladesh and Pakistan.
Patients from richer Asian countries like Singapore and Japan, (which are the second and third highest origins of medical travelers respectively), visit Malaysia due to the lower prices of medical procedures.
Australians and people from the European Union are attracted to the lower cost of medical procedures in Malaysia, whilst Middle Eastern medical travelers visit Malaysia for both the price and the quality of healthcare provided. The country has also been targeting Muslim tourists with its options for Halal treatments, such as medicine not derived from pork.The majority of hospitals offering services to medical tourists are privately owned institutions following internationally recognized standards in healthcare.
Currently, there are at least 35 hospitals in Malaysia that are being geared towards medical tourism. All are accredited locally by the Malaysian Medical Society for Quality of Health (MSQH) and are licensed by the Malaysian Ministry of Health. Most of these hospitals are accredited by international bodies including the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the Joint Commissions International (JCI) among others, making them on par with medical institutions in western countries.
Doctors and staff practicing at Malaysian international hospitals are English-speaking and internationally trained. Over 90 percent of these doctors were trained in the Singapore, China Or Australia, and in some cases are involved in international medical research.There are various visa requirements to Malaysia depending on the country of origin. Length of stay is typically 1 to 3 months; however extensions may be available upon request to the Malaysian High Commission.
The following is a brief summary of visa requirements from prominent nations :
- No Visa Requirements:
- UK and British Commonwealth / protected countries
- United States of America
- No Visa Requirements depending on maximum length of stay:
- 3 months maximum:
- Albania, Algeria, Argentina, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Brazil, Bosnia Herzegovina, Chile, Croatia, Cuba, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kyrgyzstan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Luxembourg, Norway, Oman, Peru, Poland, Qatar, Romania, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Slovakia, Tunisia, Turkey, U.A.E., Uruguay, and Yemen.
- 1 month maximum:
- Asian Countries, Hong Kong, Macau, British National Overseas and North Korea
- 14 days maximum:
- Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Macau (travel permit) and Portugal Alien Passport.
- Needs Malaysian Visa for a stay exceeding one month:
- Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Myanmar, Indonesia, Cambodia and the Philippines
- Needs Malaysian Visa for Entry
- Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Angola, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo Republic, Cote D’Ivoire, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Guinea Republic, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Rwanda, Senegal, Western Sahara, Taiwan
- Special Approval Required
- Citizens of Israel and Yugoslavia.
- Malaysia is one of the few countries where the government actively supports and promotes medical tourism. The number of medical tourists has risen dramatically, with 770,134 health tourists arriving for treatment in the country in 2013, making it one of the major destination countries within the region. Globally, it has been ranked as one of the top 5 medical tourism destinations in the world and it is expected that earnings for 2014 will be over 200 million USD.