Malaysia in detail

Health & insurance

Before You Go

Health Insurance

Even if you’re fit and healthy, don’t travel without health insurance – accidents do happen. You may require extra cover for adventure activities such as rock climbing or diving, as well as scooter/motorcycle riding. If your health insurance doesn’t cover you for medical expenses abroad, ensure you get specific travel insurance. Most hospitals require an upfront guarantee of payment (from yourself or your insurer) prior to admission. Enquire before your trip about payment of medical charges and retain all documentation (medical reports, invoices etc) for claim purposes.

In Malaysia

Availability & Cost of Health Care

The standard of medical care across the country is good, and most problems can be adequately dealt with in Kuala Lumpur and other major cities.

For an initial consultation with a doctor, the charge will be between RM60 and RM80.

Tap Water

  • Never drink tap water unless you've verified that it's safe.
  • Boiling water is the most efficient method of purifying it.
  • Check bottled-water seals are intact at purchase.
  • Avoid ice in places that look dubious.
  • Avoid fresh juices if they have not been freshly squeezed or you suspect they may have been watered down.
  • Iodine, the best chemical purifier, should not be used by pregnant women or those who suffer thyroid problems.

Environmental Hazards


  • Rabies does occur in Malaysia, so any bite from an animal (especially if from a dog) should be treated very seriously.
  • In the jungles watch out for leeches (annoying but harmless), snakes (some kinds are highly venomous), macaques (prone to bag and food-snatching), orangutans (occasionally aggressive).
  • In muddy estuaries, keep an eye out for saltwater crocodiles (deadly if they drag you under).