Absurd charges to treat dengue


WITH more than 80 deaths due to dengue, the Health Ministry should be more pro-active in battling the disease. Recently, I was warded for dengue and I would like to share some of the problems I faced during my treatment period.

Firstly, I went to a private clinic for the fever and I was given a jab and was charged almost RM100. The next day when the fever was accompanied with body ache, I insisted the medical officer in the clinic conduct a blood test for dengue (nowadays some clinics have a special kit to do it).

It was confirmed dengue and I had to pay RM170 for the test.

After confirmation, I went to government hospitals in Kajang, Serdang and Bangi but the queue was too long. The paramedics in these hospitals told me that referral letters from private clinics are not accepted as proof that I am down with dengue.

They said I had go through another round of blood check to reconfirm the disease (which would probably take a few hours). With terrible pain and phobia, I decided to go to a private hospital.

Private hospitals, as usual, are more concerned with money. A private hospital in Puchong asked me to deposit some money.

My medical card approval came in after half an hour. Finally, I was warded and the treatment went on for eight days.

The hospital charged the insurance company RM6,000. As my case was not dengue haemorrhagic, I was treated with Paracetamol and drips and occasional blood checks.

My worry is how are the low-income people going to handle such a predicament? Why are private hospitals charging so much?

I hope the private hospitals join hands with the Health Ministry to combat this disease. Private hospitals too should open up special counters for suspected dengue cases and offer free treatment as part of their community service.

Fumigations per se are not going to help reduce the number of dengue cases.

Strict enforcement and round-the-clock monitoring are pivotal to combating the disease. And fumigation is usually done only at places where there are reported dengue cases.

Educating the public is even more important. There are many places in Seri Kembangan that need to be monitored and checked for dengue.

Let’s join hands in an effort to manage the escalating dengue fever epidemic.

DR MAHENDRAN MANIAM

Seri Kembangan, Selangor

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