Expat Guide to Malaysian Healthcare

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Table of Contents

Malaysia has been a unique offering of amazing suburbs, colourful cities and a melting pot of various cultures. Another noteworthy point about Malaysia is its healthcare system. With a score of 95 out of 100, Malaysia ranks 1st in the Health Care category of the International Living Annual Global Retirement Index 2019.

Almost all doctors speak English fluently. In fact, most of the Malaysian doctors received training in the United Kingdom, the United States or Australia, so communication is impeccable. While Malaysia does not have a national health service per se, the Malaysian government subsidises public healthcare in Malaysia.


You can get medical expenses waived or lowered at government hospitals and clinics if you stay in Malaysia for 182 days or more per year.

You can get subsidised public healthcare in Malaysia if:

Employer medical cover and work permits

The Malaysian government introduced the Foreign Worker Hospitalization and Surgical insurance scheme (FWHS), known in Malaysia as Skim Kemasukan Hospital dan Pembedahan Pekerja Asing (SKHPPA) in 2011.

Before an employee can be issued with a work permit, the employer must provide them with annual medical coverage.

Only those aged between 18 and 59 years can get it.

For an annual premium of MYR120 – not including 6% sales and service tax or the 10 MYR stamp duty—the policy covers you for up to MYR20,000 if you are admitted to a Malaysia government hospital.


Insurance in Malaysia is relatively affordable to be insured out of pocket. Top insurance providers in Malaysia have extensive hospitals within their network and often have a combination of medical cards as well as life insurance.

There are many insurance companies in the local market including:

  • AIA
  • Great Eastern Life
  • Hong Leong Assurance
  • Prudential Assurance
  • Allianz
  • and many more

COVID-19 Coverage

Health insurance comes with COVID-19 coverage as long as you are not COVID-19 positive at the time of purchase.

Please note that the COVID-19 coverage policy might be changed in the future depending on how the situation develops in Malaysia.

Key Takeaway

It is important to weigh the options available from the many insurance providers and weigh the cost of the premium and the coverage you are getting in return.

Health insurance is something every expat in Malaysia should have even if it is just for the peace of mind against unexpected medical expenses given these uncertain times.

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