Malaysia has a two-tier healthcare system, consisting of a public scheme alongside a private health sector, but your options as an expat will be limited when it comes to public healthcare. We will look at those options below.
Malaysia does not have a national health insurance scheme as such, and the current system is not universal. As an employee, you may nonetheless have to be registered with PERKESO (Pertubuhan Keselamatan Sosial), the social security organisation. This covers you for injury when employed.
You may also be registered for the Foreign Worker Hospitalisation and Surgical Insurance Scheme (FWHS or SKHPPA), a compulsory scheme run by the Ministry of Health & Immigration Department for expat workers, to protect overseas workers in case of illness or accident.
In addition, you may be entitled to access the public health insurance scheme if you are on the Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) scheme, for expats with a monthly offshore income of 10,000 MYR (USD$2400).
How to register with the health system in Malaysia
Your employer should register you with the FWHS, but check that this has been done.
Under the FWHS you will be covered for a fixed amount of care in public sector hospitals: treatment will be free at delivery and your coverage will entitle you to a third class room plus board for up to 30 days (15 days in an ICU), plus some inpatient medical consultations and care. You will also be entitled to free at delivery treatment in public hospitals in the case of an emergency.
If you are a retired expat or an international student, you will need to take out private cover.
You will also need to take out private cover for your dependents, as the FWHS will not cover them.
You will be allowed to access the public healthcare system if you pay, but note that you will need to pay more than Malaysians do. Compared with Western hospitals, though, you will still find this to be comparatively cheap.
In order to find your local GP, check online or with local colleagues or friends. Medical practitioners are required to be registered with the Malaysian Medical Council, so if you check with them you will be able to see if your local practice is accredited. Once you have located a practice, you can visit them and sign up.