Foreigners to pay higher hospital fees

Mohd-Shafiq-AbdullahPETALING JAYA: Foreign residents will now have to pay a bigger deposit when seeking treatment at government hospitals.

In a move to reduce medical subsidy for non-citizens, the health ministry has announced new rates for wards and surgery which take effect immediately.

Health Ministry deputy secretary-general Mohd Shafiq Abdullah said for third-class wards, foreigners would now need to pay a deposit of RM1,400 compared with RM600 previously.

He said if they are in for a surgery, then they will have to pay a deposit of RM2,800 instead of RM1,200.

For inpatient treatment in second-class wards, foreigners will have to pay a deposit of RM3,000, and RM5,000 for surgery. The old rates were RM900 and RM1,500 respectively.

Foreigners who want inpatient treatment in the executive and first-class wards will have to pay a deposit of RM7,000, and RM11,000 for surgery, instead of RM2,100 and RM3,300 respectively previously.

The ministry said the new rates applied to both children and adults, except for fo­reigners holding permanent resident (PR) status.

Foreigners legally married to locals and children below the age of 12, provided that one parent is a Malaysian or PR holder, are exempted from the new rates.

The ministry also directed all medical officers to contact the next of kin of any foreigner who is unconscious when wheeled into the hospital’s emergency department. This is to ensure that the deposit is paid before the patient is warded.

Hospitals must also keep records of the patient’s address, contact number and details of the next of kin before he is discharged.

The ministry said foreigners were allowed to collect their medications only after settling their dues.