April 05, 2008

Malaysian doctors oppose sending heart patients to India

Flaying Malaysian government's plan to send heart patients to India as a last resort due to low cost of treatment there, a doctor's association has said the move would hamper the domestic healthcare industry.

The Malaysian Medical Association (MAA) termed the Health Ministry's plan as "retrogressive" and contradictory to the government's stated aim of promoting the country as a health tourism destination.

"Sending patients overseas might solve the immediate problem for a while but will be detrimental for the development of comprehensive cardiac care in this country," MAA President Khoo Kah Lin said in a statement here on Thursday.

"Malaysia has been working hard to position itself as a health tourism destination. This move of sending our citizens overseas is going to send the wrong signals and hurt the efforts grievously," he was quoted as saying by Bernama news agency.

Health Minister Datuk Liow Tiong Lai had yesterday said that children born with congenital heart disease would be sent to India for treatment as a last resort, if it was not possible to schedule their treatment in Malaysia.

The cost of treating cardiac patients in India was much lower than the cost here, it has been reported.

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