KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 3 — Putrajaya should review the mySalam insurance scheme and call it off if necessary as it is not benefitting its supposed B40 target group, Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) has said.
PSM chairman Dr Jeyakumar Devaraj claimed that the greatest beneficiary under the scheme is not be B40 group but instead insurance giant Great Eastern Life Malaysia.
“Well Tun, the performance of mySalam over the past six months shows that the largest beneficiary is Great Eastern itself which received a payment of RM 400 million for insurance cover for the B40 population for 2019, but will likely only pay out RM 3 million or so to the Malaysian public for 2019.
“We would like to urge you to set up an independent committee to look into the mySalam scheme and if necessary call it off, and channel the RM 2 billion to the Ministry of Health to help patients with their co-payments required of them in Government Hospitals,” he said in a statement.
“Getting the opinions of the MMA, the MoH and citizen groups working on health-related issues would be a good idea too,” he added.
The former Sungai Siput MP said that Finance Ministry data showed that as of July 22 this year, only RM1 million had been paid out under the mySalam Scheme — comprising 108 approved claims for critical illnesses (RM 864,000) and 941 approved claims for hospitalization (RM50 per day for a maximum of 14 days).
At the same time, Great Eastern had received a whopping RM400 million to cover the B40 population a year and based on current data, the company will only issue RM3 million in payment — making a killing over the poor.
Dr Jeyakumar cited a personal experience regarding one of his patients as a case study whereby the man was denied insurance coverage from the mySalam scheme simply because he did not obtain diagnosis from a government hospital.
“Three weeks ago, a 48-year-old lorry driver with stage four cancer of the colon came to see me as he was in financial distress. He had been the sole breadwinner and family finances were deeply in the red ever since his diagnosis about two months ago.
“As he was a BRIM recipient in 2018, I downloaded the application forms for mySalam and filled them for him, as I had made the clinical diagnosis of Ca Colon with obstruction before referring him to Ipoh General Hospital.
“Applying to the GH to fill up the forms would have taken another six to eight weeks,” said Dr Jeyakumar.
He added that PSM had written to Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng in November 2018 and in January 2019 to conduct proper actuarial studies and consider other alternatives such as using Great Eastern’s payment of RM2 billion to defray the co-payments required of patients going to government hospitals.