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#NSTviral: Malaysian healthcare for the win: Husband foots only RM258 bill for wife's brain surgery

KUALA LUMPUR: A husband was left amazed by a hospital bill of only RM258 for his wife's brain surgery and treatment expenses over 26 days at a government hospital.

In his Facebook post, Lee Vi Hua said he was thankful for the surprisingly low cost and relief that his wife's surgery went well.

Lee said his wife had been experiencing severe headaches since December last year, initially seeking relief with painkillers from a local clinic.

However, as the discomfort persisted, he decided to take her to a private hospital, where they were met with the unexpected news of a serious brain haemorrhage.

"The doctor recommended an immediate brain coiling procedure, a treatment unavailable in most private hospitals but only in select government facilities.

"Initially, we planned the surgery at a private hospital, estimating a cost of RM150,000.

"However, circumstances changed when my wife tested positive for Covid 19 on Dec 17 last year, requiring a transfer to a government hospital in Johor Baru," he said.

Lee added that their journey was not as smooth as planned, facing a challenge on Dec 23 last year when both private and government hospital surgeons were on leave.

Despite this setback, on Jan 7, his wife successfully underwent surgery and was discharged just two days later.

"The surgery was a success, marking the end of a challenging 26-day journey. After three months in the hospital and under the care of the best medical team, I was pleasantly surprised when settling the bill at checkout— a mere RM258.

"Malaysia's healthcare system indeed stands out for its accessibility to the people. Opting for a private hospital could have resulted in costs at least a thousand times higher," he said.

Lee's experience has drawn attention to the efficiency and affordability of public healthcare in Malaysia.

Responding to his post, Eunice Lee wrote: "The Malaysian government's medical system and fees are among the top 10 best in the world! One of my uncles had brain surgery at Johor Baru Central Hospital, which included a stay in the ICU, ambulance, and hospitalisation costs... all for RM150! So grateful for Malaysia!"

Anthony Tan said: "Government hospitals are arguably the best welfare for us Malaysians."

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