KUALA LUMPUR, March 13 — Foreign nationals infected with Covid-19 or are close contacts of coronavirus patients do not have to pay outpatient fees at government facilities, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said.
MOH said these foreigners will be exempted from registration, examination, treatment, and hospitalisation fees.
Foreigners who walk in for Covid-19 tests but who do not show any symptoms, however, will be charged an RM40 outpatient fee and other related charges.
“The MOH secretary-general has agreed to give an exemption of these charges to foreign patients who patronise MOH facilities for screening tests and treatment,” Mohd Azman Ismail, secretary of MOH’s Finance Division, said in a letter dated January 29 this year, as sighted by CodeBlue, to hospital directors, state health directors, and institution directors.
Senior paediatrician Dr Amar-Singh HSS wrote recently that the Malaysian government can’t ignore migrant workers in the novel coronavirus outbreak, numbering at a conservative estimate of 2.7 million, pointing out that they won’t be able to afford Covid-19 testing at private medical facilities that costs between RM400 and RM700.
Migrant workers may also be reluctant to visit government health facilities for fear of deportation, especially undocumented workers.
Health authorities have mostly conducted Covid-19 tests through contact tracing by identifying close contacts of confirmed patients.
But a recent Muslim religious gathering of about 16,000 people at the Sri Petaling mosque in Kuala Lumpur, now linked to several cases, may complicate efforts in determining who to give the limited tests to.