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Patients Will Not Pay More With Ringgit Devaluation

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MELAKA – Patients seeking treatments at government hospitals and clinics will not
have to pay more despite the devaluation of the ringgit which will cause a hike in
prices of medicine and medical equipment in the country.

Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam said the government and private
sector health providers would bear the higher cost with the drop in the
ringgit but the government did not plan to transfer the increase to the people.

However, he said those seeking treatments with the private sector might feel
the hike if the health providers could not absorb the cost.

“What we must be prepared for is the exodus of patients seeking treatments
at government hospitals if the private sector costs are too high,” he told a
media conference here, tonight after attending the 33rd Annual Dinner of the
Malaysian Medical Assosiation here.

He said the depreciation of the ringgit currently would not result in an
immediate increase in the prices of medicine and health equipment.

“The medicine and equipment were bought at previous prices. We may feel
the hike in three or four months. But if the devaluation persisted, I fear, it
will worsen early next year,” he said.

The increase was only expected to be temporary in nature and would not
result in shortages of medical supplies in the country, Subramaniam added.

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