Is our underfunded public health care system able to cope with the crowds needing affordable health care? Some photos from the Penang General Hospital today.

http://twitter.com/LittleHantu/status/239951686142136322/

There also seems to be a problem with the lifts at the Penang GH.

Please help to support this blog if you can.

Join in the conversation

51 COMMENTS

  1. GHs funded by tax payer money. Make a law, % tax collected from private hospital is guaranteed to be use to fund public hospital as well. This will ensure the GHs will never be underfunded. Those that is well off & rich in society, can pay for the private quick care, and tax on the profit is supplement to GH too. MAKE IT INTO A LAW!!! This will ensure sustainable development of both public & private hospital. Win Win!!

    • This is great suggestion, comrade.
      Why must the land of the people be exclusively used for super-profiteering for the 1% without any return of benefits to the ordinary denizens of the rest 99%?

  2. Its hard to say what is the right way to address this issue. A medical degree is very expensive – can we begrudge the doctor’s wish to make money? Maybe the answer is to train more doctors. The govt can give scholarships or build more medical schools in the country. Those who get scholarships must be bonded for 10 years or 15 years. Those who get free specialist training – bond for 10 years. Oh, yeah, the leakage needs to stop as well.

    • Q: A medical degree is very expensive – can we begrudge the doctor’s wish to make money?
      There is an acceptable limit & not be drawn by personal greed with the excuse of market demand.
      Then don’t take the Hippocratic Oath, but whisper to thyself the Hypocrisy Oath of unethical & dishonest medical service.

  3. Health care, once a public service domain of governments and of no brand consumerism attached, is now a lifestyle statement in the realms & reception halls of private hospitals, a private class privilege that is a nose-high statement to bandy in social circles. “I admitted to this, I admitted to that to recuperate from a mild headache in a 5-star environment which cost only Rm1000! How about you?”
    Before we aspire or desire such excesses, take some time to think after reading this 2-cents article which may save your future:
    How Consumerism Affects Society, Our Economy and the Environment.
    http://www.verdant.net/society.htm

    • There you go, according to the slides given, cost of medicine has increased 3 fold etc etc etc

      Moral of the story, don’t try to fix something that is not broken. We should have carried on with our traditional model. If change was necessary due whatever reason, it should have been gradual, measured, reviewed and transparent prior to full scale implementation.

      Gormen doesn’t know best, we will decide when the time comes? Muhibbah Malaysia

  4. Many private hospital lobbies are equally crowded. Go to Penang Adventist Hospital or Lam Wah Ee Hospital and take a look. Would you call these private hospital underfunded too?

    • No, but you get to see a doctor or specialist a lot quicker because they have a lower patients to doctor/specialist ratio.

  5. After Capitalism, Time To Relook With An Open Mind In Order To CHANGE In The Right Direction
    Or To Remain Apathy On The Road To Societal Chaos & Disintegration

    After capitalism: ‘There is no reason to wait for revolution. It is here already in each of us’
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/video/2012/aug/21/after-capitalism-rebecca-walker-video?INTCMP=ILCNETTXT3486

    After capitalism: ‘We deserve a political and economic system that redistributes both wealth and the decisions about how it is used’
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/video/2012/aug/23/after-capitalism-george-monbiot-advanced-social-democracy-video?INTCMP=ILCNETTXT3486

    After capitalism: ‘Transform money and credit into instruments that serve people’
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/video/2012/aug/16/after-capitalism-costas-lapavitsas-money-and-credit?INTCMP=ILCNETTXT3486

    After Capitalism: ‘In the anti-worlds of daily struggles the world beyond capitalism is to be found’
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/video/2012/aug/14/after-capitalism-john-holloway-anti-worlds?INTCMP=ILCNETTXT3486

  6. Anwar should announce free medical for all small and big illness including LASIK operations, breasts enlargement operations, and you-name-it-and-you-will-get-it operations !!! Free vitamin A, B, C, free mineral zinc, etc !!! Free delivery to your home. Hurray !!! Hidup pakatan !!! Hurray !!! How nice is that ??? Are you happy now ???

  7. attended public talk by YB Liew Chin Tong at PISA on Sunday.

    According to him, 70% of public attended GH with 30% of doctors strength. While 70% of doctor are in Private hospitals take care of 30% of “privileged” public….. and majority of private hospitals are controlled by government-linked organisations. in this Bolehland !

    • Yes, dennis, those stats are more or less right. So the question is what can we do to encourage doctors to stay at the GH and not hop over to private hospitals?

      For a start, the state should not get involved in ‘private’ hospitals. Otherwise, there is a conflict of interest – maximising profits vs providing affordable healthcare.

      • anil
        this is just a tip of barang naik gomen iceberg. the present state is the master of all trades like selling cars (proton), water (indah water), various permits (taxis), highways (PLUS), internet (tm controls the trunk line) etc all due to structure that favours the connected ones.

        this brings to mind low wages (no minimum wages) that discourage doctors to hang on in GH & migrate to Private practice for the bn gome with export-oriented economy policies so fear we lose competitiveness and the vicious cycle continue on and on to suppress ringgit to trade low with other currencies …. hence the housing properties become damm cheap to outsiders with stronger value currencies ? ultimatimately the genie coeffiecient in malaysia widen to the extent that we start to witness frustrations of people who can’t stand the “richer” ones drinking starrybuck & dining kimgarish !!!

        so how to stop other than a true reformation (not transform something ill to become more monstrously wicked) starting from GE13 decision making by the awakened ones.

        you can add on….

      • also internet in South Korea is 3 times faster and 3 times cheaper than in Malaysia because of monopolistic market controlled by TM (pau chiak or sure makan) fanning out the networks to the rest hence little competition that can bring efficiency and benefits to joe public !!!!!

      • I believe the prime reason that doctors leave the GH is not the poor pay or working conditions but on the contrary the extremely lucrative private sector where a specialist on average can earn between 100 to 300K per month. And guess what, they are allegedly planning to increase the consultant fees again by amending the act. The greed of doctors is unimaginable and guess what, all decisions regarding this increase are done by doctors in MOH. Conflict of interest?, you tell me! Shouldn’t a neutral body such as the Ministry of Finance be doing this?

        To me, as I am in the healthcare system, if anything, the doctors fees should be reduced to reflect affordable healthcare. Healthcare being an essential commodity should be controlled economically and when deciding fees of doctors, the MOF (and not the MOH) should consider the quality of life that a doctor should have, is RM50K a month give a person a comfortable living, in my book yes! Does it allow him to be a millionaire virtually overnight,,,No

        If you ask me the consultant fees in general should be slashed by 50% and not increased by 30%.

      • One … sucking example of ‘subjective’ fee charge just for a letter from a private hospital doctor (after one’s treatment) in order to claim from one’s health insurance: Rm100.00 & it could take a week for him to leisurely sign it with less than 100 words type written!!!
        How much commission will he get just for this no brain-crushing act?

      • Certainly we can learn a lot from the ceramah by Saudara Liew Chin Tong, especially on economic matters.

        Therefore I shall be at DAP’s JB office at Jln Maju this Saturday (4.30pm) to listen to what Saudara Liew has to say on Johor matters. I intend to buy his book and get his autograph.

        By the way, South Korea was able to bring its economy out of the ‘middle income trap’ with innovation (from products like hyundai/samsung to K-Pop of Gangnam Style). Wonder why we miss out the learning in our so-called ‘look-east’ policy?

      • For a start I suggest medical schools, especially pubilcly funded ones should start training their graduates to be less money minded. If the public is paying close to 1 million to make one doctor, it is only fair that they serve the people for a reasonable time frame, definitely not 4 years. Also, the training of specialists have to be increased. There is not much use in producing junior doctors, houseman if they cannot receive further training. A remuneration and reward scheme has to be set up for senior doctors who have contributed so many years of work for so very little in return. I personally know many senior specialists who work from 7am to 11pm in public hospitals because of their conscience as a doctor and yet retire on a meager salary and pension. To me they are the true doctors. I am a strong opponent of the private healthcare system in Malaysia where there is completely no social responsibility on the part of the hospital or the doctors, even in cases of emergencies.

      • Get real man, people study medicine because of money.

        All those talks of helping people, do good things are just plain deceit like no need to payback PTPTN !!!

      • If what you say is true, there wouldn’t be any doctors working in government hospitals.

        Don’t insult doctors who still believe in the hippocratic oath. Not everyone is as selfish as you and your political masters.

        No need to google. Here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hippocratic_Oath

        I have a friend who is a heart specialist and another friend who is an eye surgeon both working in government hospitals. They can sleep well at night.

        They are the unsung heros of Malaysia and what Malaysia Boleh really means.

      • Yes get real people studying medicines for money but not the govt operating hospital helping cronies

    • We can talk till the cows come home midnight, but isn’t free market / post capitalist economy some of us love it to thrive without limits at the expense of others, whether be it housing, utilities or education? So can we ask (sensibly) the GH doctors & nurses not to migrate to private sectors when the carrots are bigger & longer? Just like housing, some of us prefer the hands-off approach to let the frenzies rule the market to the detriment of the majority & environment.
      To interfere or not to is a question we have to ask ourselves collectively, not allowing a tinge of political partisan to blind our judgement, whichever way we eventually choose to ‘attack’ the gomen of the day.
      Ultimately, it is the ordinary Rakyat who will suffer, much less the richie who can emigrate at their whim & fancy.
      Got money, got talk mah! (means even state gomen can kowtow to $$$).

      • What is bad is the commercialisation of medicine and the medicalisation of commerce. The founder of the Uni of Malaya Medical Faculty, the late Prof Dhanaraj already warned us about this 30 years ago but nobody listened. Medical care to me is a human right, a basic right, especially in a rich country like Malaysia where the govt can clearly afford it. If public institutions give good efficient service, would people have to resort to going to private hosps? Would poor ppl have to suffer and die due to poor service?

        Having a free market is fine. In fact it is good for the country. But the operators and doctors in private hospitals must remember that first and foremost they are doctors and businessmen second. A senior lecturer of mine once told me that the word ‘doctor’ is a verb and was derived from a verb, definitely not a title. The law must ensure that if you want to operate a private hospitals, the profit has to come with some social duties. If an accident occurs and the dying patient is brought to you because your hosp is the nearest, are you going to say ‘sorry this is a private hosp, please send your dying patient to the GH, unless the patient happened to have a few thousand ringgit in his pocket or is able to give them a credit card for deposit’. Well, that is what is happening now. Totally no compassion whatsoever. I wouldn’t be able to live with myself for sending someone to die, but there are doctors who can.

      • Who wants to do R & D (research and development) for medicine when it is commercially not viable ???

        You how much $$$ to produce a commercial grade medicine ??? Google it !!!

      • 90% of the time, R & D in the field of medicine is not conducted by doctors, and are most definitely not conducted by private hospitals. I am not even talking about the development of new drugs. I am talking about saving a life which is in front of you, regardless of whether he or she has a pile of cash or credit card. It doesn’t take a lot of money to stabilize an accident victim before transferring him to a public hosp. Sadly, patients and victims of emergency are being sent away to die. i’m sorry but that is wrong and can never justified.

      • This seems to be the unwritten business mantra of (most) private hospitals:
        Got Money, Got Credit Card, Got Health Insurance But No Need Abacus Brain. You Got 8-Star Health Care & Longer Life Span!!!

  8. Yes underfunded and ripping us off. Senior citizen do not have to pay the 1.00. Deceiving all of you to show how generous they are, the Ah Cheap Kor Barang Naik AMMO govt together with their sycophants from MCA, Geelakan and MIC etc.

    Yes you don`t have to pay for the 1.00 but you have to pay for the operation and the items needed for the operation. Recently a lady has an eye cataract operation. She has to buy the len from the crony agent for RM700.00 before the operation can start. The crony is stationed at the the eye operation ward. On top of that after the operation, she has to pay about RM110.00 for the operation at the hospital counter.

    Hows that when Ah Cheap Kor is talking of free medical treatment for the rakyat.

      • also not to mention who have to gain (without open tender system with as high as minimum 10% left hand to right hand transfer profits) from supplying the medical items to the GH ?

  9. Imagine without GH, many will die in the streets & homes b’cos private hospitals generally won’t accept any poor patient or give subsidized medicines freely. With many downgraded in income & lifestyle, the best option is to seek treatment at GH, which is giving better service than 20 years ago. Of course one has to queue up when more & more (including the immigrant workers) are going to the GH without having to pay dizzy medical insurances of 36 illness, or cover what illness to come!
    Stay healthy, less stress, live in reality (not euphoria or unsustainable lifestyle) & add more days to your life – of living freedom in simplicity.
    Cheers, Kopi-O kau kau kau.

    • GH is very much needed and nobody is disputing the important or vital role it plays. The universal healthcare policy is a good one, what is wrong is the implementation. Of course if you compare hospitals today with those 20 years ago there is an improvement. But if we always compare ourselves to the past, or to very backward nations, we will never move forward at the pace needed to be among the developed countries. Countries that were way behind us 20 years ago like South Korea, Taiwan and soon enough China, are now far ahead of us. Just visit one district hospital in Korea and you can tell the difference. The GH here is doing a horrible job. They are not only understaffed, they are short of vital equipment. The waiting list for doing an MRI is at least 3 months. There is only one MRI in a hospital that serves tens of thousands a day. Many ppl would have died by then. The waiting list to see a cardiologist is even longer, about 6 months, that is if u are lucky enough to get an appointment. Otherwise you have to settle for junior doctors within the department. We are a very rich country. This is a very rich country. Why can’t we triple the number of machines and the personnel required to operate them?

      • We can’t dispute the fact that GH serves the general public the majority of whom cannot afford private medic. Then there are 1Malaysia clinics to go to. Not GH alone.
        If you truly go to GH yourself, you will see improvements (appropriate for us) than before, so give credence it deserves that comparing with other nations. Also, with the surge of more people (including foreigners) seeking health services at GH, surely there’s bound to be some bottlenecks, so do consider this point instead of kau peh kau boh without statistical facts. Have we seen people dead in the street because GH deny them treatment? Please prove one case!
        As for management of GH, there seems to be some problems related to outsourcing of maintenance & quality control of contractors’ services & questionable awards of contracts to a few.
        Still it is better to have a GH which better serves our needs than no GH yet asking for Korean standard GH when people cannot afford even a private medical services at neighborhood clinics.
        Be thankful & not ask for the utopia (given the state of affair) when the nation’s health services is not well managed strategically & talents drawn away by private hospitals encouraged by the gomen.
        More improvements at GH can still be done.

      • @tunglang:

        I’m happy that you have made honest assessment without the 308 euphoria, ABU and pakatan syndrome !!!

        Another point is, if you are genuinely poor you can seek help from gomen but need ADUN letter of support according to my experiences.

        In fact, if you again genuinely poor, you can seek help from any BN component parties (MCA especially is very generous, helpful and sympathetic). I have witness endless cases like this before. Ask any Johoreans (because MCA have strong presence there) for proof.

        Now you know why CSL said pakatan is rhetorical and MCA is practical ???

      • Every 3 months, I go to Penang GH to donate my blood & the well equipped blood bank centre’s staff treat me like a guest & long time friend.
        They also engaged foreign Pakistani doctors to help serve the public, so what have I to complain but give compliments.
        With more than 50 donations, I can get free treatments, 2nd class ward stay & outpatient treatments 24/7/365 anytime should I have a need.

      • Caffein raises your heart beats & improves mental stamina to think creatively for at least an hour.
        Kopitiam Kopi-O kau kau helps as mentioned above & doesn’t blow a hole in your pocket.
        Starry-Eyed Bucks don’t necessary do all these benefits BUT dig a continuous flowing longkang (drain) thro’ your money pocket! In addition, it just might create an euphoric mental disability as displayed by some Jabbas & space minions here!
        No wonder Darth Vader always sees stars when it comes to sensible topics & discourse on sustainable way of life on earth after a cuppa of Starry-Eyed Buck!!!

      • In the Pakatan states, if you need help you can also go to them, DAP, PKR and PAS. I have also seen them helping out the poor but not for publicity like showing up in the TV. Yes MCA also help a lot especially those judi kaki by negotiating with illegal entities such as along. This is not the way as it further encourage to come back .

      • Nobody is asking for utopia. I am simply asking for the rakyat, eps. the poor ones to be given healthcare of a reasonable standard, which it is currently far from. If you spend the rakyat’s money, they have to benefit from it. Not top officials and politicians. As for going to GH myself to see the so called improvements, I do much more than that. I spend more than half my life being in one, almost on a daily basis.

    • Tunglang,
      That is why GH must not be privatized. The BN UMNO govt were trying to do that a couple of years ago but gave up due to objection. Now they are doing it from the inside without publicity. Free RM1.00 and they publicize and propagandize. But secretly they charge you exorbitantly.

      Someone I know has a operation in GH which cost him a couple of hundred not free. But in the end he has also to pay as much as the private hospital because he was ask by the hospital to buy the medicine from outside

      And the medicine cost more than RM30,000/= (30k).

      How`s that for the lies and deceits by … AMMO BN of free treatment of RM1.00 at GH but has to pay a couple of hundred or ten of thousand.

      This is a true fact not lies by me and not the lies which are always perpetuated by GK

      • Gh should have a standard policy of asking patients whether they can afford to pay the minimum for operations or for chemo (cancer treatment) or for scanning, in GH or transfered to private hospitals for special cases. And it also depends whether patients have supporting children who can help with paying the minimal fees.
        Otherwise, he/she is entitled to free treatment.
        Or else, GH has defeated its original purpose – ie to help to poor & sick.
        No kang tau, whatsoever.
        I have seen casket service providers waiting like vultures for dead bodies at emergency ward & mortuary. You get no choices & you can’t take a dead body home yourself! No pantang!

      • I noticed a ‘vulture’ at the Emergency unit of Penang GH about 8 years ago. He would prowl around the hospital, taking particular interest in patients who look seriously ill or like they are dying. I wonder if he or others are still doing their rounds.

  10. Well for RM 1.00 per visit for normal consultant, air-con provided and medical supplies from one month to 2 months what more can we ask for when compared to RM 100 or more at any private clinic or hospital.
    A bit of inconvenience should be tolerated.

    • We should not forget that the public healthcare system is funded by public money raised from income taxes, our oil revenue, etc.

      We should ask for value for money and not tolerate inefficiencies, under-staffing, excessive spending via privatised services and privatised drug procurement.

  11. Not under funded but allegedly high leakage due to outsourcing or privatisation of money making ventures within the hospital eg. privatisation of logistics, services and supplies. If someone does a study, you will see that the cost have allegedly multiplied over the years on a scale bigger than the alleged growth of the population of Sabah.

    Note: All statements made are an opinion based on perception and not on facts and may be untrue (just covering my a..)

  12. This is expected when you shift the resources to those 1Malaysia clinics. It is a zero sum game after all.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Facebook Comments