Friday, May 7, 2010

Healthcare In Malaysia

I've been watching the SiCKO by Michael Moore which is a documentary about health care in the United States. The documentary explains how the health care is so much related to the insurance companies and corruptions that is involved. Here's something that I saw in the documentary:
  • Hospitals need to confirm with insurance companies before accepting patients.
  • Those without insurance coverage will be asked whether they can afford the treatment before receiving it.
  • If you have insurance but the treatment cost is far greater than the covered amount you can get bankrupt.
  • Insurance companies will try to find a way to make patients had breached agreement so that no coverage money will be paid.
  • Some insurance companies will only accept treatments by specified hospitals.
  • Some hospitals will only accept patients being covered by specified insurance companies.
  • Patients who are not able to pay for their treatment will be kicked out.
Those are just a few that I thought I saw in the movie so take a look by yourself by using this link.

After watching that documentary I was wondering can something like that happen in Malaysia. I believe some of those situations are already happening but the difference is we can still rely on the government hospitals. I don't know anything about health care in Malaysia so correct me if I'm wrong.

In Malaysia there are free treatments but not for all kind of illnesses and not for long. Some illnesses require subsequent treatment or medication that is not performed or supplied by the government hospitals. For example people with kidney failure will require dialysis to clean their blood and those with diabetes will require frequent insulin shots. The questions are: Does those treatments free? How long they can be free? How much a patient will have to spend for their chronic diseases? What happen if they cannot afford their

I'm also wondering what is the difference between a private and public hospitals in Malaysia. What kind of services are different? Specialist centers are private or public institutions? If the best services are provided by private institutions then only those whose capable can receive such treatments. How about those with lower income whose not able to pay for high treatment cost or even have insurance coverage?

After watching the documentary I did log into the WHO website to check for some statistics. I found out that Malaysian would have to spend about 55 percent on their health care and the rest is by government (if I interpret the data correctly) which is about similar to the United States. Private expenditure on health in France and United Kingdom is only 12 to 20 percent. Our neighbors Singapore and Thailand are 68 percent and 36 percent respectively. I checked this out because the documentary shows that France and the UK give free medical treatments to their people. If I was wrong about the data in the WHO website please correct me.

I would like to hear from people who have knowledge or experience about our local health care system and hopefully can answer all questions in this post. I cannot make any statement because I really don't know how it works.

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