Healthcare in Malaysia
Life in Malaysia
Healthcare in Malaysia is mainly under the responsibility of the government's Ministry of Health. Malaysia generally has an efficient and widespread system of health care, operating a two-tier health care system consisting of both a government-run universal healthcare system and a co-existing private healthcare system. Infant mortality rate – a standard in determining the overall efficiency of healthcare – in 2005 was 10, comparing favourably with the United States and western Europe. Life expectancy at birth in 2005 was 74 years.
History of Healthcare in Malaysia
Healthcare in Malaysia has undergone radical transformations. Earliest pre-colonial medical care was confined to traditional remedies current among local populations of Malays, Chinese and other ethnic groups. The advent of colonialism brought western medical practice into the country. Since the country's independence in August 1957, the system of medical care transferred from the British colonial rule has been transformed to meet the needs of emerging diseases, as well as national political requirements.
Healthcare today in Malaysia
Malaysia has a widespread system of health care. It implements a universal healthcare system, which co-exists with the private healthcare system. Infant mortality rate – a standard in determining the overall efficiency of healthcare – in 2005 was 10, comparing favourably with the United States and western Europe. Life expectancy at birth in 2005 was 74 years.
Healthcare in Malaysia is divided into private and public sectors. Malaysian society places importance on the expansion and development of healthcare, putting 5% of the government social sector development budget into public healthcare — an increase of more than 47% over the previous figure. This has meant an overall increase of more than RM 2 billion. With a rising and aging population, the Government wishes to improve in many areas including the refurbishment of existing hospitals, building and equipping new hospitals, expansion of the number of polyclinics, and improvements in training and expansion of telehealth. Over the last couple of years they have increased their efforts to overhaul the systems and attract more foreign investment.
The Malaysian health care system requires doctors to perform a compulsory three years service with public hospitals to ensure that the manpower in these hospitals is maintained. Doctors are required to perform 4 years including 2 years of housemanship and 2 years government service with public hospitals throughout the nation, ensuring adequate coverage of medical needs for the general population. Foreign doctors are encouraged to apply for employment in Malaysia, especially if they are qualified to a higher level. There is still, however, a significant shortage in the medical workforce, especially of highly trained specialists; thus, certain medical care and treatment are available only in large cities. Recent efforts to bring many facilities to other towns have been hampered by lack of expertise to run the available equipment. As a result certain medical care and treatment is available only in large cities.
The government hospitals have the country’s best healthcare equipment and facilities apart from having specialists in the field. However the main drawback is the shortage of staff in public hospitals compare to number of patients seeking treatment has lead to long queues. Private hospitals are mostly located at urban areas and are equipped with the latest diagnostic and imaging facilities. Private hospitals have not generally been seen as an ideal investment—it has often taken up to ten years before companies have seen any profits. However, the situation has now changed and companies are now exploring this area again, corresponding with the increased number of foreigners entering Malaysia for medical care and the recent government focus on developing the health tourism industry. The Government has also been trying to promote Malaysia as a health care destination, regionally and internationally.
Government policy and action
The Malaysian government places importance on the expansion and development of health care, putting 5% of the government social sector development budget into public health care—an increase of more than 47% over the previous figure. This has meant an overall increase of more than RM 2 billion. With a rising and aging population, the Government wishes to improve in many areas including the refurbishment of existing hospitals, building and equipping new hospitals, expansion of the number of polyclinics, and improvements in training and expansion of telehealth. A major problem with the health care sector is the lack of medical centres for rural areas, which the government is trying to counter through the development of and expansion of a system called "tele-primary care". Another issue is the overperscription of drugs, though this has decreased in recent years. Over the last couple of years, the Malaysian Health Ministry has increased its efforts to overhaul the system and attract more foreign investment.
The Malaysian government has developed a National Influenza Pandemic Preparedness Plan (NIPPP) which serves as a time bound guide for preparedness and response plan for influenza pandemic. It provides a policy and strategic framework for a multisectoral response and contains specific advice and actions to be undertaken by the Ministry of Health at the different levels, other governmental departments and agencies and non governmental organizations to ensure that resources are mobilized and used most efficiently before, during and after a pandemic episode. ← Since the Nipah virus outbreak in 1999, the Malaysian Health Ministry have put in place processes to be better prepared to protect the Malaysian population from the threat of infectious diseases. Malaysia was fully prepared during the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) situation (Malaysia was not a SARS affected country) and the episode of the H5N1 (bird flu) outbreak in 2004.
Medicine via Post
In January 2011 the Malaysia government launched a program to renew prescriptions via mail. Medicine via Post targets patients with chronic diseases. In order to be eligible to participate patients have to receive a certification from a pharmacist that their condition is stable and that they understand how to properly use their medication. Patients pay delivery costs which are RM3.5 in Putrajaya, RM5.0 for other locations in Peninsular Malaysia, and RM8.0 for Sabah and Sarawak. The program is based on a pilot-project conducted at Putrajaya Hospital started in October 2009.
List of medical schools in Malaysia
Recognized by the Malaysian Medical Council as of 1 November 2009 :
1) Faculty of Medicine, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia aka Hospital UKM, Cheras, Kuala Lumpur.
2) School of Medical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Health Campus, 16150 Kubang Kerian, Kelantan.
3) Faculty of Medicine, Universiti Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur.
5) Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43400 UPM Serdang, Selangor Darul Ehsan.
6) Faculty of Medicine & Health Science, Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin, Kota Campus, Jalan Sultan Mahmud, 20400 Kuala Terengganu, Terengganu.
9) Kulliyyah of Medicine, International Islamic University Malaysia
12) Aimst University
13) MAHSA University
16) UCSI university
18) Cyberjaya University College of Medical Sciences
20) Monash University Sunway Campus
21) Management & Science University (MSU)
22) Faculty of Medicine and Defense Health, Universiti Pertahanan Nasional Malaysia
23) Perdana University - Royal College of Surgeons Ireland (PURCSI), Serdang
23) Perdana University Graduate School of Medicine (PUGSOM), Serdang
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- [dead link]
- Medicine via Post in govt hospitals, by Husa Yusop, 24 January 2012
- 'Malaysian Medical Council - Second Schedule of Approved Medical Schools'
- Olympia College Petaling Jaya Campus MBA-Healthcare Management
- Dr Mubbashir Iftikhar, CIO, KPJ Healthcare Bhd, updates on local healthcare IT
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- Malaysia Hospital and Healthcare consultation, Non Profit Organization Site
- Commercial links for medical tourism in Malaysia
- Malaysian Medical Association
- Ministry of Health Malaysia