Health Care in Malaysia

Health care in the United States leaves a lot to be desired.

In Malaysia, it’s a different story. Read below:

“Malaysia offers medical assistance to tourists and residents under the dedicated Malaysia free health care and medical assistance plan. This universal health care plan ensures that medical assistance is available when and as required. The Malaysia free health care and medical assistance plan is drawn from revenues that come out of tax and insurance coverage.” Read more here.

The infant mortality rate (IMR) is a standard in determining the overall efficiency of healthcare.

Malaysia’s IMR (number of deaths of infants under one year old per 1,000 live births) in 2009 was 8.9. USA’s IMR was 6.3.

If you have sickness and go to public clinic or General Hospital, you might have to wait in line for a little bit, but you only pay RM1 (clinic) to RM5 (Specialist @ GH) per visit. OMG! It’s soooo affordable.

I accompanied mom to GH for a body check up yesterday. Here’s a short report on the visit.

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I accompanied mom to the gynecology department at GH. Cost of visit: RM5 (including medicines, scan & everything else)

Submit the prescription to the pharmacy counter at GH, take a number and wait for the medicine. You don't even have to take out your wallet, the med is free. :)

Submit your prescription to the pharmacy counter at GH, take a number and wait for the medicine. You don't even have to take out your wallet, the med is free. :)

Go green effort at the General Hospital - bring your own bag to carry your medicine (in three languages since Malaysians are multi-cultural).

Go green effort at the GH - bring your own bag to carry your medicine (in three languages since Malaysians are multi-cultural).

Received lots of medicine for my parents (diabetes, liver & heart problem ...) from the pharmacy at the General Hospital . Retail value: > RM1000. Mom paid $0.

Received lots of medicine for my parents (diabetes, liver & heart problem ...) from the pharmacy at the GH . Retail value: > RM1000. Mom paid only RM0.

Guess how much my dad paid for his heart surgery?
USD 10k? USD 100K?

My dad had a heart surgery a few years ago (a spring was inserted into one of his heart arteries), and he paid a grand total of RM 200 (USD62). That’s including numerous check ups and medicines. Can you imagine how much you would need pay to have the same surgery in USA, without insurance?

I feel safer in Malaysia when it comes to health care. :) Everyone is protected here.

So, if I have a serious illness and can wait for a few days, I shall buy a ticket home (from USA to Malaysia) and get treated here. :) At least I won’t end up buried in debt after the treatment. :)

Makan-makan anytime

People in Kuching love to makan (eat in Malay) and you could be forgiven for thinking about food all the time. Malaysians enjoy eating out and embrace food from different cultures.

There’s at least one cafe on every block. The cafes here are called kopitiam (coffee shop) in Hokkien. Every kopitiam carries not only drinks, it usually has stalls selling noodles, roti canai, chicken rice, etc. The prices are very reasonable. A bowl of noodle can be as cheap as RM2.50 (USD0.80). I am in noodle heaven!

2pm at Boulevard and it was still full house

2pm at Boulevard and it was still full house

My Sunday breakfast: seafood noodle soup & roti canai. It's totally fine to have noodles and curry in the morning.

My Sunday breakfast: seafood noodle soup & roti canai. It's totally fine to have noodles and curry in the morning.

steamy hot clay pot noodle soup for lunch

steamy hot clay pot noodle soup for lunch

Organic food products are available in Kuching

Organic food products are available in Kuching

Cruising in Kuching

In order to be independent and go places in Kuching on my own, I braved myself to start driving in the city yesterday. My Malaysian driver’s license has expired, so I am using my international driver’s license.

Malaysia drives on the left side of the road. Surprisingly it took me no time to get used to it.

I drive my parents’ 15 year old car. So, I have less pressure on the road among the aggressive Malaysian drivers.

Coming from Fairfield where I consider three cars at the traffic light frustrating, driving in Kuching definitely needs a bit of patience. Try to avoid rush hours is key. My legs almost went kaput working the manual transmission during rush hours…. >*<

Most Chinese people prefer fair skin. This auntie wears long sleeves and long pants, and carry an umbrealla when cycling. It takes guts to bike on the road with heavy traffic though. And of course she has to use a fuchsia umbrella. :)

Most Chinese people prefer fair skin. This auntie wears long sleeves and long pants, and carry an umbrealla when cycling. It takes guts to bike on the road with heavy traffic though. And of course she has to use a fuchsia umbrella. :)

Friday Morning

Jet lag kicked in last night unexpectedly and I passed out at 6pm. T_T

I am home alone with my retired mom and dad who are addicted to the stock market. It’s like their full time “job”.

Mom & dad glue their eyes to the screen at 9am sharp

Mom & dad glue their eyes to the screen at 9am sharp

As long as they are doing it for fun, not too much stress; I think it’s a good way of exercising their brains.

The worst thing is to let old people sit at home, watch tv or sleep whole day. Alzheimer’s might kick in sooner that way!

I am a little out of touch with the scenes in Kuching. So, I rely on Kuching’s FB page to give me some pointers. :) Thank goodness for social media.

To not upset mom, I have been eating at home mostly, but managed to tapao (pack to go) some comfort food home. :) I am in noodle heaven, what do you expect me to do? :P   Tomato kueh teow and kampua noodles are on the top on my list.

Today, I had something that I haven’t had in a long time – otak-otak. YUM! RM1 (USD0.3) for one.

Otak-otak: sticky rice with sambal belachan wrapped in banana leaves. It's spicy!

Otak-otak: sticky rice with sambal belachan wrapped in banana leaves. They are spicy!

Update: Mom just told me these are not the traditional otak-otak (made from fish meat). :( I am not sure what I bought…. but they were yummy. :)

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