KUALA LUMPUR: Underprivileged cataract patients can now undergo a cataract surgery at a cost as low as RM103 at the Federal Territories Islamic Religious Council’s (Maiwp) Cataract Surgery Centre in Selayang Hospital, according to Health Minister Datuk Seri S Subramaniam.
He said it was indeed very much cheaper than the normal cost of between RM2,500 and RM3,000 to undergo the same surgery at any private hospitals.
The minister said this was made possible through the cooperation between the ministry, through the Selayang Hospital and Maiwp.
“It is hoped that by charging only the minimum cost of treatment, we can help lift the people’s burden,” he said when co-launching the centre with Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom at the Selayang Hospital here yesterday.
Since becoming fully operational on Jan 1 this year, a total of 1,764 cataract surgeries had been carried out at the centre, while the waiting period had been reduced to only two weeks from 16 weeks previously.
It was reported that cataract was responsible for 39.1 per cent of vision-related problems faced by Malaysians.
Meanwhile, Dr Subramaniam also said the ministry was always keen on forging new cooperation with private sectors in a bid to provide the best healthcare service to the people.
He said the cooperation would not only help the ministry to provide good healthcare service to the people, but also would expedite the setting up of new medical centres.
The Maiwp’s Cataract Surgery Centre, for example, was built at a cost of RM9,876,000, which was much lower than the actual cost to acquire a piece of land to build a new hospital just for the purpose, he said.
“With the smart partnership practiced by the relevant agencies, we managed to establish this centre and made it fully operational in just six months,” he said.
Earlier in his speech, Jamil Khir said the centre was equipped with state-of-the-art facilities, two operation theatres and was supported by surgeons and specialists who were capable of conducting 30 operations a day.
He said the setting up of the centre was made possible as a total of RM14.2 million of tithe money collected by Maiwp last year were allocated for its medical aid programme.
“This was aimed to help underprivileged patients to get medical attention and treatment for their survival,” he added. — Bernama