Medication costs via SMS

|     Danial Norjidi     |

AS PART of efforts to raise public awareness on the cost of healthcare, beginning this April, patients will be informed by SMS on the costs of medication.

This was shared by Minister of Health Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham bin Haji Jaafar during the afternoon session of the 15th Legislative Council (LegCo) meeting yesterday.

In his opening remarks, the minister said, “The Ministry of Health (MoH) from time to time always reviews services provided to ensure service excellence and compliance. Therefore, several initiatives have been and will be implemented to provide service satisfaction and bring people closer to self-healthcare.”

“In general, technology in healthcare has proven to benefit many patients and also facilitates health workforce in providing services,” the minister added, before sharing several initiatives being undertaken by the MoH.

One such initiative was “to inform patients of medical and medicinal prices via short message service (SMS), which is intended to inform the public of medical costs and to appreciate the services and medicine provided.”

Elaborating further on this while responding to a question from LegCo member and Penghulu of Mukim Kota Batu Yang Berhormat Naim bin Haji Kamis, the minister said, “We want the public to be more responsible for their own health because nothing is more valuable than good health.”

He noted that one of the steps forward, as mentioned in his opening remarks, is that they are now trying to highlight the costs of treatment underwent by everyone.

“By April, SMS will be sent to every patient who has a consultation or undergoes treatment at a hospital,” he said. “For now, it will be medication first. The price of the medication will be informed in a message. This is to ensure that people appreciate what the government is spending, and from here we will also know the actual healthcare cost of the country.”