Materia Medica Malaysiana

June 26, 2007

Trace patients who defaulted on bills, hospitals told

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 9:16 am

Star: MUAR: The Health Ministry wants hospitals to trace patients who defaulted on paying their bills after being discharged.
Minister Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek said this was important because some patients needed follow-up treatment after they are released.
He said about 10% of hospital bills, amounting to between RM15mil and RM20mil, are not paid by defaulter patients every year. He urged hospitals to send officers to track them.
His remarks followed an incident at the Alor Star Hospital, where a patient left with a stent tube inside her in November 2004.
Rusinah Yatim had to undergo surgery recently to remove the tube.
Dr Chua said that if there had been some tracking, the hospital would not have faced the problem.
Clarifying events that led to the patient’s complication, he said that according to the Kedah health department and the hospital director, she left the ward two days after the operation.
“I believe the reports, as the patient did not take along her discharge slip and her follow-up treatment schedules. She had also not paid the hospital bill,” he said.
Dr Chua added that the hospital had tried to contact the patient by phone and via SMS but to no avail.

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