Hang in there for better healthcare, patients told

  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 18 Oct 2016

BATU PAHAT: Patients will continue to pay a nominal fee at government hospitals but they will have to hold on for better healthcare until after Budget 2017 has been announced.

Johor Health and Environment exco member Datuk Ayub Rahmat said these hospitals typically incurred high costs when providing healthcare as people only paid a nominal fee as compared with private hospitals.

“Hospitals that face a shortage of funds due to an increased volume of patients will seek additional allocations,” he said.

“The process will take time especially now that the Government is revising its budget,” he said yesterday.

Ayub said government hospitals incurred between RM12 and RM15 to run a simple blood test for dengue while a Zika test would rise to RM150 a patient.

A prostate cancer patient, who only wanted to be known as Law, 68, told The Star that he sought a blood test at the Sultanah Nora Ismail Hospital here on Sunday but was told that the result might take a few days as the blood sample would have to be sent to Johor Baru.

“The nurse told me that the Sultanah Nora Ismail Hospital ran out of its allocation,” he said.

“She told me to take my test at Hospital Sultanah Aminah in Johor Baru if I was unwilling to wait .”

The retiree said he was surprised that the hospital did not have the funds to conduct tests on blood samples as these tests were among the most common procedures at any hospital.

When contacted, the hospital’s board member Soh Heng Law said he did not receive such complaints from other patients regarding the matter.

“Unless it is for specific illnesses or requires more advanced facilities that the hospital does not have, then patients are refereed to other hospitals,” he said, urging those with similar problems to write in to the hospital administration.

Budget 2017 will be announced on Oct 21.

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