PETALING JAYA: Razali Raihayu felt totally helpless when he got his father’s RM11,000 medical bill.
But worry turned to relief and gratitude when he was told that he only had to pay RM31.80.
In an emotional Facebook post, Razali shared that he was “so broke” when his father had to undergo emergency radiotherapy at Hospital Kuala Lumpur (HKL) in early 2013.
His story caught the attention of HKL emergency physician Dr Alzamani Mohammad Idrose who shared the post on his Facebook page, which then went viral and was shared more than 5,000 times.
Dr Alzamani explained in his post that for RM1, patients typically get consultation, X-ray, ultrasound, CT scan, a blood test and medication, which would actually cost at least RM1,250.
“You pay RM1. We absorb RM1,249. When you come to a public hospital, often the real cost is not shown,” he wrote.
Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah also shared the post on his Facebook page and expressed his hope that Malaysians will appreciate the healthcare services.
“Healthcare cost is not cheap but is heavily subsidised by the Government and Health Ministry,” he said.
Asked why the discount was so large, HKL said that Razali’s father was eligible for a senior citizens’ discount of up to 50%, apart from getting some free treatment for being treated in a Class 3 ward after getting a referral letter from a government health facility.
When contacted, Razali said his father was diagnosed with Stage 3 lung cancer in 2011 and underwent radiotherapy sessions.
He was finally in remission in 2012 but doctors found a 6cm tumour in his brain that required emergency radiotherapy in early 2013.
“I was so broke that month. I literally had only RM100 in my pocket and no money in the bank,” he said.
Razali, who is now working at an office in Singapore, said the money he had with him was for lunch and transportation back to Melaka where his father lived.
Although his father died in October that year at age 71, the episode gave him an appreciation for the Government’s healthcare services.