Query about Dialysis cost


Jay wrote in our MMR Facebook page:

I hope someone can help me answer this question on GST. Before GST in April 2015, the cost of single dialysis treatment was RM90. After the implementation of GST, the cost went up to RM108. That’s 20% increase. I thought most medical services were GST exempt. Even if the consumables were to incur GST of 6%, surely they would not amount to 20% increase.

Hi Jay. After sourcing for some information from our Doctors, including nephrologists in the Doctors forum, Dobbs, here are some points which may help you understand the situation

1) The actual cost of dialysis is variable, ranging from perhaps about RM 150 to as much RM 250 per patient (source Star: Dialysis subsidy drying up) and any amount below that is a subsidised sum, See the infographic from Star:

kidney treatment graphic small

2) As you can see, RM 90 per dialysis is a very much subsidised cost and probably that is coming from a very generous NGO-run dialysis centre

3) “GST exemption in healthcare treatment” means the Government expects the healthcare provider to bear the increased cost and cannot pass it on to the end consumer as GST in the bill. In reality the cost of everything has snowballed (drugs – the majority of which are subject to GST, dialysis consumables, utilities, etc etc) not just due to GST but other factors including the shrinking ringgit and inflationary factors. The healthcare provider including NGOs will likely pass on the cost to the consumer as they cannot absorb the increased costs.

4) RM 108 in view of this still sounds like a greatly subsidised dialysis treatment.


Related post:
Dialysis woes – a move towards CAPD?


Malaysian physician, haematologist, blogger, web and tech enthusiast