Penang is a healthcare haven. For years many now people from neighbouring countries, like Indonesia, Thailand and Singapore, have travelled there for affordable, world-class care. It is already considered an up and coming area for medical tourism. In fact, more than 700,000 foreigners came to Malaysia last year for medical treatment—and 60% of them made a beeline for Penang. These days you’ll find Aussies, Brits and Americans all benefiting from the island’s top-notch, low-cost healthcare.
All of the doctors speak English and most trained in Australia, the UK or the US, so the care is to Western standards. There are seven hospitals on the island to choose from so finding a doctor that suits your needs is pretty easy. Each hospital has its own specialists and you don’t have to wait for months to get in for a visit. Just go to the hospital, take a number and wait your turn. If you need to see another doctor, get an X-ray or scan, that also happens on the same day.
A first-time doctor visit is about $25 to $85 with follow-up visits costing around $15 to $36. If you are admitted, the overnight stay will cost roughly $125 to $260 for a private room.
Dentistry in Penang is just as high quality as the doctors and surgeons there, as again, most are schooled in the Western world and speak English. The technology is the same as it is in in Australia so walking into the dentist’s office looks exactly the same as it does back home, but care comes at a third of the cost.
Health insurance is available in Penang but with prices so low some expats choose to pay out of pocket for their care or opt for the most basic coverage, which will set you back about $1,300 a year per couple. It’s quick, efficient and five-star quality…but without the five-star price tag.