Brunei: Working and Living
Health, Education and Pensions
The health care system of Brunei is administered by the Ministry of Health, and the wealth of the Kingdom allows the delivery of a very high standard of free health care to all citizens and immigrant workers.
Malaria has been eradicated, and cholera is virtually nonexistent. There are five general hospitals and numerous health clinics throughout the country. The largest hospital, Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Saleha, is in the capital. All medical professionals in the country are educated abroad, and the general level of skill is said to be very high.
There are two private hospitals, one of which is operated for employees of Brunei Shell Petroleum. For emergency medical care, expatriates are often evacuated by air to Singapore.
Nine years of education is the legal minimum in Brunei, but the usual pattern is for seven years of secondary education to follow six years of primary education. There is a university in Brunei, but most students go abroad for tertiary education.
The first English school in Brunei opened in 1931 and there are now a number of them. Immigrants or expatriates can send their children to state schools, which teach both in Malay and English, but need to pay. Most expatriates use local private schools or send their children abroad to study, for instance in Singapore.
Pensions were introduced in the public sector in Brunei a long time ago, but not in the private sector until 1993 when the TAP scheme was introduced, under which employers and employees pay 5% of salary each into a retirement fund. Normal retirement age is 60. Immigrant workers may qualify for a state pension after a long stay.