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International Living says Malaysia’s healthcare is best in the world for expat retirees

Malaysia has been ranked as the world’s best destination for healthcare according to the International Living (IL) Annual Global Retirement Index 2019.

Scoring 95 out of 100, the healthcare service in Malaysia is described as ‘simply world class with up-to-date and sophisticated infrastructure’.

According to IL, Malaysia’s 13 Joint Commission International (JCI) – the gold standard in healthcare assessment around the world – accredited hospitals and the fact that almost all doctors are fluent in English having trained in the UK, US or Australia, makes it a top medical tourist destination and perfect for expat retirees.

The IL said that expats can choose both private and public hospitals to suit their needs. They said, ‘The private hospitals tend to be a bit more expensive but are more up to Western standards than the public hospitals’. They also noted that costs at the private hospitals are affordable for minor visits, even. And prescriptions costs only ‘a fraction’ of what expats – presumably western expats – would pay for at home.

Another thing that IL loved about Malaysia’s healthcare is that you don’t need an appointment or a referral from a general practitioner to see a specialist. Instead, “It’s as simple as registering at a hospital of your choice and waiting in line to see your specialist of choice.”

But beyond the cost, IL also said that the service is attractive as well. “The pharmacists, like the rest of Malaysia’s medical staff, are well trained and informed. Malaysians are friendly people, but it’s the genuine interest that they take which impresses,” they said.

Singapore not on the list 

Each year, International Living assesses a number of different countries on various categories to decide which is the best place for retirement (it has to be noted that this is more for Western retirees than anyone else). This year, 25 countries were looked at and Malaysia ranked as the 5th best place to retire.

Singapore, however, was not part of the 25 countries that were assessed.