KOTA KINABALU - The government will act over unpaid bills at public hospitals in Sabah which amounted to RM25.834 million (S$10.7 million) from 2009 to last year, said Deputy Health Minister Datuk Rosnah Abdul Rashid Shirlin.
As the biggest outstanding sum was owed by foreign workers at RM21.54 million, she said the Health Ministry planned to introduce compulsory medical insurance for foreign workers with the help of the Human Resources Ministry.
She said employers would be compelled to provide insurance coverage for their foreign workers.
On the other hand, local residents owed public hospitals in Sabah only RM4.24 million, she said in a statement yesterday.
She was commenting on a claim by Sabah DAP assistant secretary Junz Wong that patients owed public hospitals in the state RM100 million in unpaid bills.
Rosnah said the ministry also planned to impose a requirement that patients settle half of the estimated hospital bills before being treated or warded.
She said Likas Hospital recorded the highest unpaid bills at RM8.171 million, followed by Tawau Hospital (RM6.120 million), Lahad Datu Hospital (RM3.307 million), Dutchess of Kent Hospital, Sandakan (RM2.4 million) and Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Kota Kinabalu (RM2.162 million).