Foreigners taking up big share of medical subsidy

  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 25 Feb 2014

PUTRAJAYA: Foreigners are taking about 30% to 40% of the country’s entire allocation for medical treatment meant for Malaysians, Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subra­maniam said.

“They are eating up our medical subsidy,” he said, adding that in most countries in Europe, foreigners were required to pay the actual cost.

The minister touched on the issue at a press conference after addressing the ministry’s monthly assembly here yesterday.

Last December, Deputy Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Hilmi Yahaya announced a plan to get foreigners, including students, to pay for their actual cost of medical treatment in government hospitals, not at a subsidised rate.

Dr Subramaniam said the plan was at the final stage, adding that it required some amendments to the Fees Act (Medical) 1951 for Foreigners.

“We are ironing out that part. I think we should be able to list down the new charges in the next few months,” he said.

The charges for foreigners seeking medical treatment in government hospitals was last reviewed in 2003.

Presently, foreign workers given outpatient specialist treatment are charged RM60 while for accident and emergency cases, the charge is RM50.

Those seeking outpatient follow-up treatment are charged RM60 while the charge for general outpatient treatment is RM15.

The charges are paid as registration fees.

Dr Subramaniam was not able to say what the new charges are.

“That is what we are trying to determine because it is the actual cost of the treatment,” he said.

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