Malaysia has a national health plan. Health care for Malaysians is free or available at nominal cost. Malaysia has both public and private health care systems. There are 111 public and 197 private hospitals. Primary health care services consist of immunization, family planning, maternity care, communicable disease prevention, and accident and emergency services.
 Did you know?
Many Chinese people wear jade for protection. It is believed to bring good luck and good health.

People of different incomes have access to different levels of health care. Well-off people have access to private doctors and fully equipped hospitals. Poor people rely on government-subsidized health stations where they can get general treatment and emergency care. These stations also offer educational programs on topics such as maternal and child health, and family planning. The health stations refer people to hospitals if necessary.

Modern health care still remains geographically and economically inaccessible in some remote parts of the country. Private doctors are rare in rural areas.

In the countryside where there are few hospitals, some people rely on traditional medicine. Traditional Malay healing is rooted in the Malay religion and involves a pawang (shaman or medicine man) and the bomoh (spirit medium). The pawang cures the sick through the use of traditional herbal treatments and magical incantations.

Malaysians of Chinese heritage may go to traditional healers called Senei, who use herbs to treat illness. A Chinese person who is ill may go to a temple to see a medium (a person who goes into a trance). A helper translates the sayings of the medium and writes out a prescription. The patient takes the prescription to a herbal shop to be filled.

 Did you know?
Malaysia's national flower, the hibiscus, is used as a herbal remedy in several ways. The juice from its leaves and roots is used to treat skin eruptions and a paste prepared using the leaves is often used to cure a headache.

Malaria has long been a problem in Southeast Asia. It is caused by a parasite carried by mosquitoes. Its symptoms include fever, headache and diarrhea. The parasite is becoming resistant to common anti-malarial treatments and new treatments are being sought. Dengue fever is a viral illness that is also carried by mosquitoes. At present, there is no treatment for this disease.