Health director-general Datuk Seri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah has reassured the public that the Ministry of Health (MOH) will continue to provide highly subsidised services at all government health facilities, after a circular displaying an increase in the dental charges went viral yesterday.

“We will continue to provide quality healthcare at affordable rates as they (citizens) had been receiving previously,” he said in a statement.

Basic costs for dental services to increase

According to the circular, the cost for an extraction will be raised from RM1 per tooth to RM 15 per tooth, while the charges for filling per tooth would increase from RM2 to RM25. The price of a scaling procedure was also said to increase to RM55 from the current prices of RM2.

The circular also noted that the revised rates were supposed to take effect in February, but has since been delayed until 1 March.

Hisham confirmed that the new charges were true and in accordance with the Fees (Medical) (Amendment) Order 1982, however, explained that the displayed charges were nominal, and reflected the basic costs of treatment without government subsidies.

“The new charges will only be borne by patients who could afford (for patients who fall under first and second class category) them, however, third class patients will continue to enjoy the subsidy,” he said, adding that third class patients receive subsidies for medical and dental services of up to 98%.

MOH: Charges for first and second class patients due for revision

Separately, Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam has also announced that the Cabinet will review the charges for first and second class patients in government hospitals, adding that the charges have not been reviewed for a long time.

This is in line with the announcement made by the Health Ministry in November 2016, stating that there would be a rise in medical charges at first and second class wards that would take effect this year.

At present, patients in first class wards with air-conditioning pay a fee of RM80 per night, while patients in second class and third class wards pay RM20 and RM3 respectively per night. The daily medical charges for first and second class wards are RM10 and RM5 respectively, and third class wards receive treatment for free.

While the revised charges have yet to be announced, Subramaniam has assured that third class patients will continue to receive medical care for free.

“I will like to reassure all Malaysians that the government will not abrogate its responsibility to the poor and those from the low income group,” said Subramaniam.

“They will continue to receive the high level of care that they have been receiving as before.” MIMS

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