Dental Tourism – Malaysia
Malaysia consists of thirteen states and three federal territories and has a total landmass of 330,803 square kilometers separated by the South China Sea into two similarly sized regions, Peninsular Malaysia and East Malaysia (Malaysian Borneo). The capital city is Kuala Lumpur, while Putrajaya is the seat of the federal government. Malaysia is one of 17 mega-diverse countries on earth, with large numbers of endemic species. Since its independence, Malaysia has had one of the best economic records in Asia; the economy has traditionally been fueled by its natural resources, but is expanding in the sectors of science, tourism, commerce and medical tourism. The national, or official, language is Malay which is the mother tongue of the majority Malay ethnic group.
The country is multi-ethnic and multi-cultural, which plays a large role in politics. About half the population is ethnically Malay; with large minorities of Malaysian Chinese, Malaysian Indians, and indigenous peoples. 91.8% of the population are Malaysian citizens which are divided along ethnic lines , with 67.4% considered Bumiputera, 24.6% of the population are of Chinese descent, while those of Indian descent comprise 7.3%.
The constitution declares Islam the state religion while allowing freedom of religion for non-Muslims.
The overall infrastructure of Malaysia is one of the most developed in Asia; its telecommunications network is second only to Singapore's in Southeast Asia, with 4.7 million fixed-line subscribers and more than 30 million cellular subscribers. Internet in Malaysia has become the main platform for free discussion in Malaysia's otherwise tightly controlled media environment.
English remains an active second language, which is widely understood in service industries and is a compulsory subject in primary and secondary school. It is also the main language spoken in most private colleges and universities.
The education system features a non-compulsory kindergarten education followed by six years of compulsory primary education, and five years of optional secondary education. Schools in the primary education system are divided into two categories: national primary schools, which teach in Malay, and vernacular schools, which teach in Chinese or Tamil. Secondary education is conducted for five years. In the final year of secondary education, students sit for the Malaysian Certificate of Education examination.
Since the introduction of the matriculation program in 1999, students who completed the 12-month program in matriculation colleges can enroll in local universities. However, in the matriculation system, only 10% of places are open to non-bumiputera students. Excellence in these examinations does not guarantee a place in a public university. The selection criteria are largely opaque as no strictly enforced defined guidelines exist.
Malaysia has a long history of medical education, there are numerous public and private medical schools, all offering a 5 year undergraduate program, some private schools have diversified by developing international collaboration and conduct twinning or credit-transfer programs. All medical schools require accreditation by the National Accreditation Board and the Malaysian Medical Council. Although the criteria for accreditation is comprehensive and covers a broad range of areas of assessment, it is debatable whether it always matches the needs of the country. The dramatic increase in medical schools in the last two decades has posed challenges in terms of maintenance of quality, physical infrastructure and suitably qualified faculty.
The Dentistry Profession
The Malaysian Dental Council (MDC) has 6 primary functions by which it serves the dental profession. The functions are Upholding and maintaining professional standards and ethics in the practice of dentistry; Recognition of Dental Degrees; Registration of Dental Practitioners in Malaysia; Issuance of Annual Practicing Certificates and Temporary Practicing Certificates; Maintenance of the Malaysian Dental Register; Exercising disciplinary jurisdiction over registered practitioners.
Getting There for Dental Care
Public transport in Malaysia is reliable and inexpensive. Much of your travelling, particularly in Peninsular Malaysia, will be by bus, minivan or, less often, long-distance taxi. Budget flights are a great option for hopping around the region, especially given that no ferries connect Peninsular and east Malaysia. Although the Peninsula’s rail system (there’s also a small stretch in Sabah), has to some extent been superseded by highways and faster buses, it still has its uses, particularly in the interior and on the express run north from Butter worth to Bangkok. Sabah and Sarawak have their own travel peculiarities – in Sarawak, for instance, you’re reliant on boats, and occasionally planes, for some long-distance travel.
The Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KUL) serves as the main hub for air travel within Malaysia. In the state of Sarawak, even some of the smaller towns and villages, especially those in the mountainous regions are linked by Malaysia Airlines' (MAS) Rural Air Service, where air travel is an adventure by itself!
The Tourist Development Corporation of Malaysia (TDC) became the Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board (MTPB) popularly known as Tourism Malaysia, its full focus is on promoting Malaysia domestically and internationally. They have their own website which you can learn anything you need to know about Malaysia, check their website for more information, deals, bookings, etc.