PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - An eye-opening post by an emergency physician has reminded Malaysians to be grateful for the doctors and affordable health services provided by public hospitals.
Hospital Kuala Lumpur emergency physician Alzamani Mohammad Idrose shared a post by Facebook user Razali Raihayu on Wednesday (May 10) that details Mr Razali's emotional relief when his late father's cancer radiotherapy was reduced from RM11,000 (S$3,565) to RM31.80.
Mr Razali wrote about how the cost of several itemised treatments was changed to RM0 after his father's Malaysian nationality was taken into account when the final bill was drawn up.
"We were so broke that month. I have only RM100 in my pocket (and 0 in the bank). That was all the money we have for lunch, and fuel/toll back to Melaka," wrote Mr Razali.
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When he saw his reduced RM31.80 bill, Mr Razali said that he "cried on the spot" and thanked all the officers who helped him.
Mr Alzamani explained what patients typically get for the RM1 they pay at the emergency department of public hospitals.
For RM1, he said, patients typically get consultation (worth RM200), X-ray (RM100), ultrasound for some cases (RM150), CT scan for some cases (RM500), blood tests (RM150) and drugs (RM150). He said the total value is RM1,250, adding that the amount is a "conservative estimate".
"You pay RM1. We absorb RM1,249," said Mr Alzamani.
For outpatient treatment at the emergency department for patients with a "simple fever" but which requires blood tests, a chest X-ray, antibiotics and observation, Mr Alzamani said the estimated cost is RM500.
"You pay RM1 and we absorb RM499," he said.
"When you come to the public hospital, often the real cost is not shown.
"We just hope you don't value us as only RM1. Because we know our worth," said Mr Alzamani.
Mr Alzamani's post has since gone viral with over 5,000 shares on Facebook.
Mr Razali shared Mr Alzamani's post on his Facebook page and thanked all healthcare practitioners.
"I never got to thank them last time. So I am thanking you all now here," he wrote on his Facebook page.
"From the bottom of my heart, thank you for your dedication and service," said Mr Razali.