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Penang, A Medical Travel Destination

Penang General HospitalPenang is world famous for its UNESCO heritage sites, beach resorts, tasty hawker food and its vibrant street arts. But are you aware there is another speciality of Penang that is attracting people, nearby and afar, to flock to this island? It is Penang’s medical and dental services.  Penang has a comprehensive network of health care centres that are capable of providing highly specialized medical services to those seeking medical or dental treatments, and people from as far as Europe and America have come to Penang for medical treatment.  It is not surprising that Penang’s health care services are noticed by the international clientele, given its team of internationally trained health care personnel that are keeping abreast with the medical latest techniques and procedures; facilities outfitted with state-of-the-art equipment; cutting edge medical care and good governance by the Malaysian’s Ministry of Health.

Lam Wah Ee HospitalRecently, the International Medical Travel Journal (IMTJ), the medical travel industry authoritative journal voted Malaysia as the Medical Travel “Destination of the Year 2015”. The equally influential Patients Without Border medical resource provider, has praised Malaysia as medical travel “best-kept secret, with fluent English spoken everywhere and cost savings comparable to India, in a less culturally jarring setting.”

Penang, being one of Malaysia most advanced states, has a well-developed comprehensive two-tier health care system, consisting of a government funded public health care system and a private health care system.  The Penang Hospital, Hospital Balik Pulau, Hospital Seberang Jaya, Hospital Kepala Batas, Hospital Bukit Mertajam and Hospital Sungai Bakap are the six federal government funded public hospitals providing affordable comprehensive health care services to the public. The Penang Hospital and Hospital Seberang Jaya also serve as clinical training facilities and clinical research centres. Numerous government-run clinics are spread out across the state as well providing basic health care services. Similarly, the public has access to numbers of government-funded dental clinics across the state.

Loh Guan LyeOn the private healthcare side, privately owned medical and dental clinics can be found pretty much on every major road in Penang. For specialized care, a patient can select from a list of private hospitals or medical specialist centres. These medical centres are well-staffed and well-equipped. Whether it is a cosmetic face lift, an eye LASIK treatment, a fertility treatment, a dental transplant, a cancer chemotherapy, an Orthopaedic hip replacement surgery, or a coronary artery bypass graft (CABG), you can surely find a centre that meets your needs.

Here’s a list of major private hospitals in Penang (in alphabetical order):

  1. Adventist HospitalGleneagles Hospital
  2. Adventist Dental Care Centre
  3. Carl Corrynton Medical Centre
  4. Gleneagles Penang Medical Center
  5. Hope Children Hospital
  6. Hospital Lam Wah Ee
  7. Island Hospital
  8. KPJ Penang Specialist Hospital
  9. Loh Guan Lye Specialists Centre
  10. Mount Miriam Cancer Hospital
  11. Optimax Eye Specialist Hospital
  12. Pantai Hospital Penang
  13. Peace Medical Centre
  14. Sim Children & Child Heart Clinic
  15. Tanjung Medical Centre
  16. Tropicana Medical Centre Penang

Many of the facilities listed above have obtained the international medical service provider gold standard, the prestigious Joint Commission International (JCI) certification of the United States. For a foreigner, it is very much worthwhile to explore the option of having a treatment done in Penang, given its highly proficient medical personnel, well-equipped centres, idyllic environment and significant cost savings. To give you an idea of the cost difference, it cost about $80,000 for a CABG procedure in the United States, but only $20,000 in Penang; a hip replacement cost about $30,000 in the United States, but only $12,500 in Penang. The availability of extensive and affordable health care services is often cited by international journals as one of the primary factors that Penang is ranked highly as one of  the most live-able cities in the world as well as an ideal retirement destination.

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