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BMC Health Services Research

, 16:167

Healthcare needs and demand


BackgroundWorldwide, international retirement migration is growing in its popularity and Japanese retirees choose Malaysia as their most preferred destination. This study examines the pertinent issues related to healthcare services as experienced by Japanese retirees in this country.

Methods and resultsFrom January to March 2015, we conducted focus group discussions with 30 Japanese retirees who live in Kuala Lumpur and Ipoh. Guided by the social-ecological model, we discovered seven pertinent themes: ‘language barriers’,’healthcare decisions’, ‘medical check-ups’,‘healthcare insurance’, ‘nursing and palliative care’, ‘trust and distrust of healthcare services’, and ‘word-of-mouth information’.

DiscussionWe identified seven pertinent issues related to healthcare services among Japanese retirees in Malaysia, of which four are especially important. These issues are explained as integrated themes within the social-ecological model. Language barriers prohibit them from having difficulty accessing to healthcare in Malaysia, but lack of will to improve their language skills exist among them. For that reason, they rely heavily on word-of-mouth information when seeking for healthcare. As a consequence, some develop feelings of trust and distrust of healthcare services. In addition, we have identified the needs for provide nursing and palliative care among Japanese retirees in Malaysia.

ConclusionBased on the magnitude of the discussion, we concluded that there are four crucial healthcare issues among Japanese retirees; ‘language barriers’, ‘trust and distrust of healthcare services’, ‘word-of-mouth information’ and ‘nursing and palliative care’. We propose that further dialogue by healthcare stakeholders should be carried out to improve further the healthcare service provisions for Japanese retirees in Malaysia.

KeywordsJapanese retirees Healthcare Qualitative study Focus group discussion Malaysia my second home AbbreviationsFGDsfocus group discussions

IRMinternational retirement migration

MM2HMalaysia my second home

NHINational Health Insurance

QUAGOLQualitative Analysis Guide of Leuven

UMMCUniversity of Malaya Medical Centre

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Autor: Ayako Kohno - Ghazali Musa - Nik Daliana Nik Farid - Norlaili Abdul Aziz - Takeo Nakayama - Maznah Dahlui


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