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Do not take away subsidized public healthcare from local people

public hospital

By NK Khoo

Send foreign workers to private hospitals

I REFER to the letter “Poor care for foreign workers” (The Star, Dec 4).

The writer should be fully aware that our public clinics and hospitals are subsidised with public money and for citizens.

The benefits of importing foreign workers into our country is still subject to much debate. No doubt all employers are delighted to hire foreign workers at a cheaper cost than pay higher wages to Malaysians.

Our Human Resources Minister did admit that the salaries of Malaysians have been stagnant for the last 20 years. I guess the influx of millions of foreign workers is the main contributor for the low salaries earned by our workers.

Since a company has the resources to hire foreign workers it should be willing to pay for their full medical costs.

Sending foreign workers for medical treatment in public clinics and hospitals is compromising the safety net of the local population and is a strain on our subsidised public medical facilities and rare resources.

Instead of complaining about unfair treatment of foreign workers, a company should send its workers to private hospitals in Johor Baru or Singapore for better medical treatment.

Diabetes is a common disease and can be diagnosed and treated at all private hospitals.

I urge the Government to impose the same charges or charge more (than private hospitals) for all foreigners who seek medical treatment at public hospitals or clinics. This will ensure more subsidised services can be provided to Malaysians.

Besides, all foreign workers should be sent and treated at private hospitals unless there are no facilities for certain illnesses in these hospitals.

NK KHOO
Kuala Lumpur
http://www.thestar.com.my/Opinion/Letters/2014/12/05/Send-foreign-workers-to-private-hospitals/

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