Saturday, June 19

Medical services in Malaysia heavily subsidised— Abdul Karim

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Abdul Karim (third left) being briefed by Dr Asri (right) on the usage of the dialysis machine.

KOTA SAMARAHAN: Assistant Minister of Housing Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah lauded the government’s role in providing subsidy on healthcare and medical services in the country.

The subsidy, he said, had made Malaysia one of the most affordable countries to obtain medicines and medical services — a fact that many Malaysians did not realise.

“The effort by the government will ensure that our citizens remain in good health,” said Abdul Karim at the presentation of two dialysis machines to Sarawak Heart Centre here yesterday.

A personal friend of his, he added, had visited Sarawak Heart Centre recently and was surprised that the fee was very minimal for a thorough checkup — adding that in Singapore, the same medical services and procedures would cost at least RM10,000.

“This (subsidy) is something all of us should be very grateful of,” said Abdul Karim, who is also Assistant Minister of Youth Development.

The two dialysis machines are donated by Borneo Development Corporation (BDC) Realty Sdn Bhd — a subsidiary of BDC (Sarawak) Sdn Bhd — a government-linked company.

“This is also part of our corporate social responsibility (CSR) to help the centre, which is overwhelmed by patients who have to undergo dialysis treatments every week,” said Abdul Karim, who is also BDC (Sarawak) Sdn Bhd chairman.

With the addition of the two dialysis machines, the centre is now equipped with 12 machines for patients who generally have to undergo treatments that can last for four hours per session, three times a week.

In private hospitals, the fee to undergo one dialysis treatment would cost around RM500 as opposed to government hospitals where the fee is very minimal.

Sarawak Heart Centre director Dr Asri Affin also spoke at the function.

He said the centre catered to patients from as far as Siburan.

The centre, formally known as Sarawak General Hospital (SGH) Heart Centre, was rebranded as Sarawak Heart Centre early this year after the setup of its own board of management.

BDC Realty Sdn Bhd director Datuk Mazlan Bugo, BDC (Sarawak) Sdn Bhd general manager Dr John Panil and community leaders from Samarahan Division were also present at the event.