KUALA LUMPUR, April 8 ― Foreigners seeking medical treatment at government hospitals will be charged a far higher rate with immediate effect, the Ministry of Health (MOH) announced.
In a directive issued yesterday, the ministry said ward and surgery rates will be raised from between 130 and 230 per cent respectively, The Star reported today.
From now on, foreign patients will have to pay RM2,800 instead of RM1,200 for surgery.
Those who need inpatient treatment in second-class wards will have to pay a deposit of RM3,000, and RM5,000 for surgery. Formerly the rates were RM900 and RM1,500 respectively.
Foreign patients warded in the executive and first-class wards will have to pay RM7,000 and RM11,000 for surgery deposits, a staggering increase of RM4,900 and RM7,000 respectively.
The new rates will apply to both children and adults, except for foreigners holding permanent resident status.
Those married to locals and children with one local parent and is under 12 will also be exempted.
MOH deputy secretary-general Datuk Mohd Shafiq Abdullah said the new rates were aimed at cutting medical subsidies for foreigners.
Putrajaya first introduced separate rates for foreigners in January 2015 after it was revealed that they took up between 30 per cent and 40 per cent of the subsidy in medical treatment for Malaysians.
It also decided that subsidy for foreigners would be gradually cut.