PETALING JAYA: A recent article in International Living magazine has rated Malaysia as having the "best healthcare in the world" in addition to being ranked as the top country for medical tourism.
It said that this was due to the strengthening USD, cheaper air travel, mounting healthcare costs and long waiting lists in Western countries.
"Medical tourists arriving in Malaysia have increased on average by 100% in the last five years.
"George Town and Kuala Lumpur are the main two medical centres in Malaysia, and both cities are serviced by a multitude of international airlines from around the world.
"Malaysia has some of the best-trained doctors in Asia - and the majority of them were trained in the United States, Australia, or the UK. All of them speak English too, and that takes a lot of the stress away from what is already a stressful situation," said the article.
It said that Malaysia, in addition to its private and public hospitals, also had several non-profit hospitals that provided exceptional services.
More than one million medical tourists visited Malaysia in 2016, according to the article, which ranked Costa Rica as No. 2 followed by Colombia and Mexico.
Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam in acknowledging the recognition, said the ranking was based on the price of medical procedures, available facilities, hospitals, trained doctors and affordability.
"International Living in its Annual Global Retirement Index 2017 honoured Malaysia for the third consecutive year of being named the country with the 'best healthcare in the world'.
"This accomplishment is testament to Malaysia’s well-developed healthcare system which is highly accessible, with competitively affordable rates, and of world-class quality.
"The government through the Ministry of Health ensures stringent and rigorous regulations are put in place to safeguard impeccable standards of quality, safety and ethics in Malaysian healthcare services as a whole, while ensuring that healthcare in Malaysia remains accessible to everyone who needs it," he wrote in a Facebook post.