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Wednesday, 16 November 2016

The increase in charges for first class wards at public hospitals will not burden patients

‘Increase won’t burden patients’

THE STAR
     
    PETALING JAYA: The increase in charges for first class wards at public hospitals will not burden patients, said the Health Ministry.
    Its director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said this was because those who asked to be warded there could either afford it or have insurance or guarantee letters from their employers.
    “Presently, the charges for first class ward are very low and this is without the cost involved during treatment.
    “For example, the current charge for first class ward is between RM30 and RM80 a day compared to private hospitals which charge between RM100 and RM400 a day,” he said in a statement yesterday.
    Other charges, he added, such as laboratory tests, checks and operations for those admitted in the first class ward at public hospitals were also much lower compared to private hospitals.
    Noor Hisham gave the example of maternity treatment, which would only cost RM300 at a first class ward in public hospitals compared to RM3,000 in private hospitals.
    If the maternity treatment invol­ved the use of forceps, vacuum or breech procedures and caesarean operation, he said this would only cost between RM400 and RM800.
    The same treatment at private hospitals would cost between RM4,000 and RM15,000, said Noor Hisham.
    The Government also exempted senior citizens from outpatient charges and gave a 50% charge reduction if they were warded, totalling up to a maximum payment of only RM250, he said.
    Others, such as those with disabilities, financial aid recipients, students, organ and blood donors were also given exemptions, said Noor Hisham.
    Beds for first and second class wards, he said, were also limited, with only 2,271 beds for first class and 3,251 beds for second class out of the total 40,748 beds in public hospitals.
    “As such, those who choose first class are those who can afford it. The increase in charges for first and second class wards is very minimal,” he said.
    The maximum charge for patients admitted in third class was only RM500, pointed out Noor Hisham.
    “Those who cannot afford to pay may also be given exemption,” he said.

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