Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Don’t Jump The Gun. Get Your Facts, Right

The headline on an article published by a tabloid newsprint, yesterday, drew grimace looks on the readers; Medical and Hospitalization fees to increase by 50%? One can imagine the feelings of the population whom requires medical attention and hospitalization, let alone their opinion of the Government. 

Malaysian health expenditures is allocated RM25 billion which amounts to 10 percent of the national financial budget, despite revenues from medical services rendered amounted only RM700 million. A total of RM2 billion expenditure goes to provide free medicines to the Rakyat. 

While the costs of medicines, medical equipment and service escalates throughout the globe, it is a fact to highlight that the medical and hospitalization fees at Government Clinics and Hospitals has not been reviewed since 34 years ago for its citizens in adhering to the Fees (Medical) Order 1982. 

The Government has since, exercised an increment to 70 percent medical fees for non-citizens, effective 1st January which reflects the real cost of treatment borne on treatment for this group; inclusive of outpatient treatment, medicine, boarding and specialist consultations and etc. 
The proposed revision when finalized may and will involve the hospitalization to 1st and 2nd Class wards while no changes expected to the 3rd Class wards, the cost implied are simply made by the patients or their immediate family of their choosing. 

To drive the reality, hypothetically, 2 million patients are hospitalized in the Government hospitals as depicted below:

1st Class: 16,000 patients (0.8%)

2nd Class: 16,000 patients (0.8%)

3rd Class: 1,968,000 patients (98.4%) 

In conclusion, the less fortunate patients are not grossly affected by the revision, yet will enjoy the benefits from the draw down which helps to upgrade the medical services and medicines provided. 

In a statement made today, Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam reiterated 3rd Class ward medical charges remains at the minimum fee of RM3 and a maximum of RM500. Meanwhile, the charges for outpatient, at the General Outpatient Department and Specialist Outpatient Department, at RM1 and RM5, respectively. 

The proposed revision by the Ministry of Health (MOH), will come into effect on 1st January 2017, however it will not affect the majority of Malaysians seeking medical aid and hospitalization, especially to the less fortunate. 

News reporting should be responsible and not draw flak with daunting headlines to draw ratings to the publications. The public, on the other hand, too, must exercise restraint from falling victim to sensationalized articles/materials and unfounded information.