KUALA LUMPUR – Private hospitals in the country have a role as catalysts to promote national unity, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
He said this could be seen from the diversity of hospital staff and patients at these institutions.
“In addition to providing healthcare, what you are doing, you are promoting and strengthening national unity,” he said during a visit to the Tung Shin Hospital and Chinese Maternity Hospital here today.
Najib is the first prime minister to visit Tung Shin Hospital.
He said the existence of private hospitals such as Tung Shin Hospital had also helped the government in reducing the burden of financial allocation for the health sector.
He said that this year alone, the government was spending RM24 billion for public healthcare, as compared to projected collection of just RM600 million.
“When there are parties with high social responsibility like TSH and CMH, it certainly helps alleviate the government’s financial burden,” he said.
Najib said that he has also been made to understand that both hospitals provided generous subsidies for treatment and even forego payment from patients who could not afford it.
“The role of TSH and CMH has directly helped the government. This is what we want.
“In the field of healthcare, when we make a contribution, that is also an act of unity because we are promoting national unity,” he said.
During the visit, the Prime Minister announced a federal government contribution of RM3 million for the setting up of a Heart Care Centre at Tung Shin Hospital.
The contribution met the shortfall of RM10 million needed for setting up the centre.
TSH set up in 1881 and CMH in 1913 are non-profit hospitals.
According to TSH President and CMH Director Tan Sri Khoo Chai Kaa, the subsidised medical treatment provided by the hospitals in 2016 amounted to RM2.15 million.
The hospitals treated 11,000 in patients and 113,000 outpatients in 2016.- BERNAMA