Top 3 Critical Illnesses in Malaysia

Top 3 Critical Illnesses in Malaysia

The growing health crisis in Malaysia is evident from the fact that one in every 4 Malaysian are at risk of dying from a chronic illness. There is growing number of health problems in millennials and rising numbers of critical illness reported every year including cancer, heart attack, stroke and kidney failure. There is lack of awareness that cancer is the predominant cause of death in Malaysia, while heart disease results in more deaths than any other non-communicable disease.

What is critical illness?

You’ll often hear the term critical illness when discussing insurance plans. Critical illness refers to medical emergencies in which you require extensive medical care. For example, cancer, stroke and heart attack. These illnesses can leave you with huge medical bills and, if you need time to recover, prevent you from getting back to work.

List of critical illness

The following diseases and medical conditions are considered critical illnesses (this is not an exhaustive list):

  • Alzheimer’s disease

  • Angioplasty

  • Bacterial meningitis

  • Blindness

  • Brain surgery

  • Cancer

  • Coma

  • Coronary Bypass

  • Deafness

  • Encephalitis

  • Hepatitis

  • Heart attack

  • HIV infection from blood transfusion

  • Kidney failure

  • Liver disease

  • Lung disease

  • Major head trauma

  • Muscular dystrophy

  • Paralysis

  • Parkinson’s disease

  • Stroke

  • Third degree burns

  • Terminal illnesses


What are the most common critical illlness?

In order to understand critical illness, one must be aware of the most predominant conditions and the costs associated with them. In terms of chronic illnesses like heart disease or cancer, it incurs a huge financial burden on the person not in terms of just medical cost but also family/caregiver expenses. The most common illnesses with long recovery periods are as follow:


Cancer is one of the most serious illnesses that can hamper the quality of one’s life. The side effects associated with chemotherapy or radiation therapy makes it difficult to function normally in day-to-day life. It is the second leading cause of death among Malaysians. According to the National Cancer Registry Report, the most common cancers among males are lung and nasopharyngeal while cervical and breast cancer are more common in females.

Heart Diseases

2021 leading cause of death is Covid-19[1]. Ischemic heart disease is the second leading cause of death among Malaysians. A great number of factors can lead to heart illness including smoking, genetic factors high blood pressure or cholesterol. Besides that, a sedentary life might make one more prone to this kind of critical illness.

There are different types of heart diseases which might require different treatments ranging from medications to surgeries such as bypass or angioplasty, which can be expensive. The average cost for the surgeries may differ from hospitals to hospitals. Average, uncomplicated coronary procedure may cost you in between RM 30, 000 to RM 70, 000.  Cost may differ depending on medical institution. Critical illness and medical insurance coverage can help to provide you with the required treatment.


Stroke is also a leading cause of death in Malaysia. While a full recovery from a stroke is possible,  two-thirds of the population are reported to have some form of disability following a stroke. While stroke is reportedly more common in the people above 50 or 60 years of age, it can occur outside of this age group.

The treatment for stroke may vary depending on the person's condition. Just like coronary problems, a simple medicine plan might suit some while an expensive surgical process is necessary for a more complicated case. The cost associated with stroke treatment may vary from RM 35,000 to RM 75,000.

Insurance for Critical Illness

While you may not have the say in the outcome of a critical illness, you can definitely secure a critical illness cover that provides for much needed financial breathing space upon diagnosis of a serious one. Majority of the critical illness take a longer time to treat and can put one’s life at a halt with no financial income to generate. Moreover, there are chances that illnesses like cancer, heart attack or stroke may strike more than once and put you in a compromising situation to take control of your life.

In order to be prepared in case of any chronic disease, one can choose the right critical illness plan, which provides immense benefit to the individual and his family. It may save the person from financial burnout and also help in regulating finances during the treatment of any of the above diseases. It will also save the mental and emotional stress that often comes with any serious illness for the individual.

Why critical illness insurance is important?

As mentioned, an individual may take a long time to recover from a critical illness. As such, there isn’t only huge medical bills to pay, but also a loss of income as one may not be able to work during recovery.

Critical illness insurance helps you and your family navigate this stressful time as the money can help to:

  • Pay for daily expenses. This allows you to focus on getting well.

  • Pay for transportation expenses. For example, travelling to treatment centers, or retrofitting your car to be wheelchair friendly.

  • Pay for treatments that are not covered by traditional insurance polices.

  • Pay for medical services or treatments that otherwise will be unavailable to you.

  • Pay for a vacation to help you rest and recuperate.

What does critical illness insurance cover?

This will depend on the insurance company you’re purchasing your critical illness cover from. As such, it’s best to check with your insurance provider as to which illnesses are covered (and which are not) before you purchase your cover.

However, most policies will cover illnesses such as:

  • Cancer

  • Heart attack

  • Stroke

  • Parlysis

  • Kidney failure

  • Alzheimer’s

  • Coma

  • Coronary bypass

  • Organ transplant


How much does critical illness insurance cost?

This depends on the individual and the insurance cover that you’re purchasing. Similar to other insurance policies, your premiums will likely be lower if you’re young and healthy. Additionally, higher payouts may also mean higher premiums. Optional benefits added to your policy will also increase the cost.

Prudential critical illness insurance - PRUMy Critical Care

There will be a struggle of greater medical and emotional costs when going through the trouble of recovering from a chronic illness. PRUMy Critical Care, Prudential’s most comprehensive critical illness plan brings you an affordable and customisable cover which gives you peace of mind through a lump sum payout as you focus on the road to recovery.

Since all the above mentioned diseases come with a great chance of reoccurrence, PRUMy Critical Care allows you to claim twice in case of a second diagnosis.

Find out more about PRUMy Critical Care, our Critical Illness insurance plan here.

Alternatively, learn more about our other insurance solutions

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