Slow refunds hurt sick pensioners’ pockets - Letters | The Star Online


Slow refunds hurt sick pensioners’ pockets

I AM a 77-year-old pensioner. My wife and I are patients at Univer­sity Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC), Lembah Pantai. We have to go to UMMC for our regular medical check-ups and treatment. My wife has mild demen­tia and I have problem with my blood platelets.

On April 10, my wife went to collect her regular medication – exelon patch – from UMMC’s pharmacy as these medicines are listed under UMMC (Special Formulary) and thus cannot be supplied by the normal hospital pharmacies. I was made to pay for the exelon. It cost RM1,552.95 and I was told by the pharmacy staff to claim from Pensions Department.

On May 8, I went to UMMC’s pharmacy to collect my regular supply of medicine agrylin capsules for my platelet problem. Agrylin capsules are also classified under the Special Formulary list. I had to pay RM2,216.10 before they could supply me with the medicine.

Sad to say, until today, I have still NOT received the first reimbursement of RM1,552.95. It is more than a month since I submitted the claim for my wife’s medication. It is indeed very hard for me to pay for my own medicine which cost RM2,216.10 within the space of one month. I had to ask my children to help me out. Total amount spent for medicines for my wife and I was RM5,985.15. My pension is not enough for this.

Prior to this, UMMC’s pharmacy would supply the medicines and they would submit to the Govern­ment for reimbursement.

Pensioners did not have to pay first and claim later. Pensioners are ex-Government servants and many of them are unable to pay big medical bills like ours. Can the Government, in particular the Public Service Department (JPA) show some concern for pensioners? We should not be made to suffer in our golden years when our income is limited and our health is frail. May I sincerely request an answer from the Government, in particular JPA, whether such an action is fair to pensioners who devoted the prime of their lives to serve the Government.

Does JPA think that pensioners are rich and able to pay first for their medicines and claim back later?


Petaling Jaya