Pondering the Possibility of Medical Travel? Consider All Costs
When considering the costs of traveling overseas for healthcare or wellness, you should not only factor in the stated prices from healthcare facilities, but also look into the following:
- Transportation to and from your home country. Also consider that followup visits may be necessary for some procedures.
- The potential for additional procedural costs based on further diagnosis and additional requirements.
- Accommodations in the hospital. A private room will cost more than a shared room, and a VIP suite will of course be pricier than both.
- Travel and accommodation for any family or friends accompanying you.
- Follow-up costs in your home country.
- Translation and interpretation costs where applicable.
- The costs of leisure travel if you plan to do any sightseeing before or after your healthcare procedures.
- Phones, meals and other amenities that you might require.
Living in Malaysia is far cheaper than in most Western countries as well as Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore and some other Asian nations. Everything from housing to transport to communications—as well as local food, hotels, airfares, clothing, medical expenses, entertainment and recreation—are cheaper than you might expect. A three-bedroom apartment in the center of town will average US$750 a month, for example, and a three-course meal for two at a mid-range restaurant runs around $15. The monthly fee for a fitness club is about $45, a ticket to a first-run internationally released film will cost around US$3.60, and an imported bottle of beer averages even less at just $3. Fruits, vegetables and other foods are just as inexpensive, as are toiletries and other daily necessities.
You can buy food at any of the many supermarkets, hypermarkets and outdoor markets at very inexpensive prices. While alcohol—especially the imported variety—is heavily taxed, it is widely available. The popular holiday resort island of Langkawi is duty free and many goods are cheap there, but there are restrictions on bringing them back to the mainland.
Insurance in Malaysia
Malaysia has four major types of medical coverage. They include a Medical Card/Health Card that covers hospitalization and surgical benefits; what is called 36 Critical Illness or Dread Diseases Insurance, which provides a lump sum benefit upon diagnosis; Disability Income Insurance, which provides income if you are unable to work; and Hospital Income Insurance that provides a specified sum of money on a daily, weekly or monthly basis while you are being treated at a hospital.
What your own health insurance covers in terms of medical tourism in Malaysia hinges on two factors: your provider and what the hospital or other medical facility you want to use here will accept. MHTC Careline at + 603 272 68 688 (email: firstname.lastname@example.org) can help you sort this out.
Costs are comparatively low on virtually every treatment and surgical procedure you can imagine. The list includes a host of cosmetic and dental options.
For example, a heart bypass procedure that according to 2011 rates would cost US$144,000 in the United States is less than a tenth as much in Malaysia—just $11,430. Hip replacement surgery that runs around $50,000 in the States is $7,880 here. A gastric bypass procedure is $33,000 in the States, but costs only $9,450 in Malaysia. Just $3,450 will buy you a facelift that costs $15,000 in America, and LASIK surgery on both eyes is $480 versus $4400.
If you are considering Malaysia or any other country in Asia for a medical or wellness trip, please contact HealthyIM and we will provide more specific advice.
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