Mar 06 2013

Medical services in Langkawi

Published by at 11:19 am under Practicalities

Langkawi has most of your health needs covered with, hospitals and clinics available. Here are some words of advice to keep in mind ahead of a trip there — just in case something goes wrong.

Accidents happen.

Accidents happen.

Langkawi has very good facilities and services available for all but the most critical of medical conditions. Langkawi Hospital (website is in Malaysian only) accepts all walk-in patients seeking medical attention, from simple ailments to emergencies. For a flat fee of 50 ringgit for your basic examination, the cost of prescriptions is also covered as well as X-rays if they are deemed necessary. Emergency room wait times are long, however, so consider your ailment before wasting your time or theirs. You won’t become a priority because you have a flight to catch; it’s first come, first served and triaged per medical need.

Checking in at the hospital emergency room is painless.

If you’re suffering from a cold or flu or even a minor laceration or twisted ankle, the better option is one of several small private clinics on the island that are a usually open daily, often except Fridays and public holidays. The standard fee of 50 ringgit still holds true, but any additional services or supplies such as prescriptions are extra.

In Padang Mat Sirat, Klinic Govin is a convenient option and walking distance from the international airport, directly across from Airport Corner restaurant at the roundabout. Dr Govin offers personal consultation and has a fully stocked pharmacy in house. Clinic staff are professional yet personable, which can be quite comforting when you find yourself freaking out over some mysterious rash. In Kuah town, Klinik Perdana has up to three doctors on site or on call at any given time. It’s located near the Pier restaurant just off the main highway into Kuah.

Conveniently located near the airport.

If you’re really pressed for time or one of those people who can find any excuse not to go to a doctor, a local pharmacist may be willing to advise you. Joe Pakiaraj of Joe’s Pharmacy in Kuah, has the first and oldest pharmacy on the island, as well as a wealth of knowledge on remedies from basic ailments to those mysterious rashes. He’s usually more than willing to chat with anyone, despite his hectic schedule — in fact he’ll even look at photos of your injury via cell phone, if you happen to find yourself offshore. Though his pharmacy stock is priced a bit higher than other pharmacies, he also has the most requested products and ensures he doesn’t run out.

A wealth of medical knowledge resides here.

In case of a severe accident dial 999 (the local emergency number). Be aware however that the 999 dispatch is actually on the mainland, so relaying information back to Langkawi could take time that you might not have to spare. For immediate emergency medical service dial the hospital direct — or dial both 999 and the hospital just to cover all the bases.

A name you can trust, for sure.

Finally, if you find yourself in Langkawi with a tooth ailment then local dentist Dr Chew (yes that’s her real name) is well versed on the latest technology in dentistry and can provide service for everything except surgical procedures such as root canals. Normally appointment based, her office will alter their scheduling for emergencies.

Contact numbers
Langkawi emergency number:  999
Langkawi Hospital for ambulance assist: (04) 966 1804/(04) 966 3333
Dr Govin (Mat Sirat): (04) 955 9499
Joe’s Pharmacy  (Kuah): (04) 966 0180
Kinik Pergigian Chew: (04) 966 0661

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One Response to “Medical services in Langkawi” ...

  1. goentropoon 03 Jan 2014 at 11:00 am

    This is a well written and very informative article and is certainly one link which I have saved for including on my Bed & Breakfast website. For tourists, they never know this information until it is desperately needed. Also medical tourism is still very much in its infancy on Langkawi and local medical facilities are often treated, and spoken with great derision, by many ‘expats’ currently living on the island. Recently my husband was in great pain with a suspected kidney stone and the response and assistance he received in Langkawi Base Hospital was second to none.

    However, I would like to object to Joe’s Pharmacy being labelled ‘expensive’ with the statement; ‘Though his pharmacy stock is priced a bit higher than other pharmacies…..’ as it presumes to imply that this is the most expensive pharmacy on the island. People in need may then assume all other pharmacies are cheaper where as, I have actually visited and done price comparisons around the island at various other registered pharmacies.

    If you know your way around Padang Matserat or Kuah, yes there are other ‘Farmasies’ (Malaysian spelling) and they may be marginally cheaper than Joe’s, but they are much harder to find for the average tourist. The pharmacies I have checked; which have much higher prices than Joes; are higher profile and are much more easily spotted by tourists. These specific pharmacies are within the ‘tourist strip of Pantai Cenang’ and are, in many cases, double the price that Joe charges.

    These price comparisons have been for some of the more common drugs required by travellers such as medications for diarrhoea or stomach upset. These include, and are by no means limited to, Metronidazole (ie Flagyl), diphenoxylate/atropine (ie Lomotil) or Loperamide (ie Imodium).

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