Higher Education Ministry probing claims patients threatened over medical bills

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 19 — The Higher Education Ministry will investigate claims that patients had been threatened to settle their bills for treatment at the medical centres under the ministry.

Its deputy minister Datuk Mary Yap Kain Ching said the ministry was prepared to investigate thoroughly the claims to determine whether these were ordinary patients or government pensioners or the disabled.

"If they are pensioners or the disabled, they are eligible to receive free medical treatment," she said in reply to a supplementary question from Tan Kok Wai (DAP-Cheras) on the action by Universiti Malaya Medical Centre and Tuanku Mukhriz Hospital (HUKM) of issuing lawyers' letters.

The letters were said to threaten the patients that they would be blacklisted and taken to court for failing to fully settle their medical bills.

Yap said the issuing of the claim letters were a last resort after various means were made including sending out letters of reminder, phoning the patients and offering payment by instalments, to get the medical bills settled. — Bernama

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