Getting sick or injured whilst on holiday can be a sure way to stop, or at least slow down, the holiday fun. But if you or someone in your family does get a stomach bug, suffers a cut – or has to deal with something more serious such as a broken leg – it’s good to know what kind of medical facilities are available.
Should I Visit My Physician Before I Go?
As such a common destination for Singaporeans, it is not practical for everyone to visit one’s doctor before each trip. However, the Medical Society of Malaysia does recommend that expatriates, travellers and tourists visit a travel clinic or doctor four to eight weeks before travelling.
Travellers should seek the following vaccinations:
- Hepatitis A – all visitors
- Typhoid – recommended for visitors who drink/eat outside major hotels and restaurants
- Yellow Fever – necessary for every traveller who is one year of age or more upon arrival. Not recommended for younger visitors.
- Japanese Encephalitis – recommended for those visiting rural areas for long periods, or those engaged in extensive outdoor activities in rural locations.
- Hepatitis B – for those who have direct contact with locals, particularly important for visits of more than six months.
Getting Treatment in Malaysia
In Malaysia you’ll find that both public and private clinics and hospitals offer excellent medical services. Most foreigners tend to choose private healthcare if they get ill, and find that doctors and nurses speaks very good English.
Malaysian Hospitals – Top Tips
- If you need an ambulance call 999 – or 112 from a mobile.
- Beware that ambulances in Malaysia may not be as responsive as those in Singapore, so if a patient can be moved safely, a taxi may be a better option. However, under no circumstances should you move someone if you believe their condition would be worsened by doing so.
- Government and private hospitals charge visitors for all services.
- While it may be the last thing on your mind, it is a good idea to take along any travel insurance forms with you to the hospital. If you do not, and go back later to have them completed, you may have to wait a long time to see the appropriate staff members.
- Malaysian hospitals generally operate a ticketing system, but waiting times are comparable to those in Singapore.
Pharmacies in Malaysia
As well as having plentiful frontline medical services – particularly in the big urban areas – Malaysia has at least as many pharmacies as you would find in Singapore. For less serious complaints, pharmacists will be able to offer advice on which medicine to take, and have extensive knowledge of common medical complaints suffered by visitors.
Other Issues to Be Aware Of
Malaysian pharmacists tend to be more relaxed about certain pharmaceuticals such as heavy-duty painkillers compared to our own chemists – i.e. they may not require a prescription. It has been known for some drugs to be over-prescribed by doctors/pharmacists. Counterfeit drugs have also been known to exist in Malaysia, although the problem is rare. Visitors should be aware of these issues.
Paying for Your Medical Treatment in Malaysia
With no reciprocal medical agreements, it’s very important to have travel insurance that will cover the costs of medical treatment, should it be required. While medical treatment is more affordable than in Singapore, serious injuries and illnesses can be very expensive, so travel insurance is a must.
Travel Insurance Malaysia
Holidays are about fun and relaxation, and about spending time with those you love. Knowing you’re covered for medical emergencies – as well as things like flight cancellations, car rental accidents and loss of personal belongings – gives you the peace of mind to do just that.
Here at DirectAsia.com we think taking out travel insurance for Malaysia – essential as it is – should be quick and easy. That’s why with us, you can get a quote and get covered in a matter of minutes.
With DirectAsia.com, getting travel insurance is easy. Get Covered Today!