Wednesday, February 22, 2006

The High Cost Of Health Care in Malaysia

(Laura's reaction to the bill at Gleneagles Intan's Fig Tree cafe)

We all know and we are constantly reminded by insurance companies that health care is expensive and getting more so by the day. Last week I got a rude shock that even visiting friends and family who are in need of health care can also be blaardy expensive.

I had to take my daughter to her paediatrician at the Gleneagles Intan hospital in Jalan Ampang. We hadn't had breakfast and while waiting for her turn we decided to go down to the cafe to get something to eat.

I had a bowl of the day's "special" (meaning that the ingredients were mostly yesterday's leftovers) which was curry laksa. My daughter had a bottle of pop. Total bill? RM19.32

The Chef's Special RM 9.50++
Snapple Arpicot/Orange Juice RM8.90++


the boJed said...

wahlauuu patrick... this is what the call business... with that kind of price for a bowl of magical curry laksa and a bottle of pop, even the visitors can be admitted into the ward for lack of oxygen or worse, mental problems.

business mah. more pricey, more customer can be admitted into the ward, more income!

sick sick businessmen.

raz said...

9.50 for laksa? 8.90 for the drink?!? Its really ridiculous what businesses are charging these days, crazy. But what can u do, business is business, there are probably hundreds more businesses/profiteers doing the same thing all over the country.

Samm said...

Wei, wei, wei.... 5 star hospital, 5 star hotel pricing. wah, u sure the food did not da-pui-jek-guat-lok???

JasonL said...

Fuuuyoh, Patrick,that seems like a rip-off to they charging Singapore price ah? Maybe next time, u should try going to Subang Jaya Medical Center instead, at least their prices at the coffee house is more reasonable.

As I write this, I remember the country song and lyrics by the Whitstein Brothers called :


The landlord wants his money,
The grocery bill is due,
My pocket book is always flat,
And boy I’m tellin' you;

My clothes are gettin' ragged,
My shoes are gettin' thin,
Just lend an ear and I'll explain,
This awful fix I'm in.

It’s the high, high, high, cost of livin',
Oh tell me what a workin man can do,
It’s the high, high, high, cost of livin',
I’m in the red and feelin mighty blue.

No T-bone steaks no pork chops,
And no more chocolate pie,
I can’t afford those luxuries,
Cause prices are too high;

I use to drive a Cadillac,
Until the other day,
The finance company came along,
And took my car away.


My little wife she told me,
And just the other day,
Throw out your chest and tell the rest,
That Junior’s on the way;

Now since we can’t postpone the stork,
A helpin hand I’ll need,
Oh tell me how I can afford,
Another mouth to feed.


Maybe u can get a friendly DJ somewhere to play this song request, dedicated to all Malaysians....

patrickteoh said...

JasonL Thanks for the song. It's fun. Sorry. Don't know any radio deejays anymore.
Yeah Samm, the food really went down the wrong way with me that day. I guess at the end of the day it isn't the cost that really bugged me but the quality of the food served, the service, the environment. There are lots of places that charge those prices and even more for what is essentially Malaysian hawker food. But say with a bowl of curry laksa you would get great big chunks of chicken, big prawns etc. Like I said this bowl probably had yesterday's leftover fried chicken. Shredded some more. And RM8.90++ for a bottle of pop? Come on. Somemore I had to serve myself!
You're right, bojed. There may have been some emergency admissions resulting from those food prices.
You know what, Raz? People just don't care anymore. They don't complain. They don't bring matters to the relevant authorities. They just sigh and pay.

i've just said...

you hit it right on the spot! prices of food(ready to eat) nowadays is EXORBITANT. even at the roadside stalls, it's throat splitting.

i do wonder if we or anyone can do something about it. it's just mad pricing. in fact, if i work and live in london, i think it will be very much more afforable.

as i understand, some prices in certain areas are jack up to make the gwailo moneys. but, i think we are crossing the lines on this and the bizman are trying to take advantage of it.

route^66 said...

C-Fu said...

You should've just say no I won't pay it's ridiculous, you made a mistake, explain why it's 8.90, etc.

But yeah I know not many people are as stubborn or un-malaysian as I am :D

patrickteoh said...

Hello c-fu. I did complain to the lady behind the counter. As expected she just gave me a blank stare which spoke volumes. Meaning, "Why don't you get the fuck out of my face?" Explain why it cost RM8.90? You might as well ask a gerbil to explain Einstein's Theory Of Relativity.

faez said...


maybe the food was bought by the chef from a mamak gerai behind the kitchen, just like the movie "mekanik" (remember or not?), and put into the bowl and garnished beautifully.... u never know....*wink*

pu1pu3 said...

I ate there as well last month since my children were dying of hunger. We were so surprised at the exorbitant price adn I told hubby:'even kat Great Eastern Mall' cozy house pun tak cost this much. Needless to say, that was the first and the last. We should all boycott the stall. But maybe the rental is too high that's why they charge that much.???

patrickteoh said...

HI pu1pu3. I don't know what the rental is or if it the reason for the high prices. But really, do you think that is a valid reason to charge those prices? I think the hospital has a responsibility to make sure that it's patients and visitors are not fleeced while on their premises. Or if they think that the quality being served is in keeping with their own perceived high class image then the management should try eating there and comparing what else is available at really high class outlets.