The Malaysian healthcare system is among the best in the world and Malaysians are truly blessed to be under its care. With a two-tiered system, a person seeking medical attention could choose between personalized private care or affordable government care of uncompromised quality. However, there is always a limit to just how ‘affordable’ medical aid can be.
According to the National Health and Morbidity Survey (NHMS) 2019, the majority of Malaysians (80%) used their income to pay for medical services, 36% used their savings and 11% had to borrow from family and friends. The same study noted that 43% of Malaysians cannot afford personal health insurance.
Although the Malaysian healthcare system is accessible and affordable for most, some, particularly the B40 community struggle to pay. This is especially true for those seeking long-term medical treatment and care. Chemotherapy and haemodialysis are examples of treatment that require regular sessions and their costs can reach up to thousands.
Thankfully there are organisations established to assist the B40 community in their long-term health journey. These organisations are saving graces to those who are desperate for treatment and because of them, more lives are saved. Here are seven heroic health organisations you should know about:
1. National Cancer Council Malaysia
MAKNA (Majlis Kanser Nasional) is a non-profit social enterprise founded by Dato’ Mohd Farid Ariffin in 1995 — inspired by his own son’s fight with cancer. MAKNA has since undergone many transformations, achieving significant milestones to better serve cancer patients.
They offer services ranging from education scholarships for cancer survivors to cancer awareness programmes for the public. The Bursary Assistance Programme is among their offered services, aiming to assist financially-burdened cancer patients by giving them a monthly allowance as well as paying for their medication and treatment.
Click here to understand more about the application process.
2. Breast Cancer Foundation
The Breast Cancer Foundation, formerly, the Pride Foundation is an organization that has been championing breast cancer awareness since its establishment in 2006. Founded by Puan Sri Dato’ Azrene Abdullah — the daughter-in-law to the late Tun Endon Mahmood — the foundation came about after a very successful Walk with Pride charity gala dinner.
Akin to a well-oiled machine, the team has organized numerous empowerment programmes for breast cancer survivors to help them live their lives to the fullest. On top of that, the foundation provides monetary support to breast cancer patients who are in need through their Breast Cancer Foundation Patient Fund.
Read more about their Patient Fund here.
3. Empowered: The Cancer Advocacy Society Of Malaysia
With a mission to save lives, prevent cancer and serve the poor, Empowered was primarily established to reassure the poor that cancer is not a death sentence. They understand that cancer patients are constantly living in fear, anger and pain for they do not understand why it occurs to them.
Thus, Empowered offers a list of services to help the less fortunate receive free cancer screening as well as support programmes for those battling cancer.
Learn more about their efforts to prevent cancer and the services offered here.
4. Sau Seng Lum
Sau Seng Lum is a non-profit health organization that caters to the needs of the underprivileged within the Klang Valley and beyond. Since 1994, they have been providing subsidised haemodialysis service and have since extended their service to help stroke patients and even children with special needs.
Through their foundations — the SSL Haemodialysis Welfare Foundation and the SSL Stroke and Welfare Development Foundation — they were able to provide affordable yet quality healthcare service to those in need within the community they serve.
To find out more about their services, visit them here.
5. Hepatitis Free Malaysia
Hepatitis Free Malaysia (HFM) champions the awareness of Hepatitis B and C. Based in Temerloh, Pahang, they provide free Hepatitis screening tests to the public and introduce ease of access to costly Hepatitis B or C treatments in Malaysia.
Dedicated to eradicating Hepatitis in Pahang — and Malaysia as a whole — HFM is constantly involved in organizing local fundraising campaigns as well as providing assistance to the poor in need of Hepatitis C treatment.
Visit them here to know more about the work they do.
6. SOLS Health
SOLS Health is a community-based mental health centre that helps families and communities to access affordable mental health services and at the same time combat the existing stigma of mental health in Malaysia. Holding onto the belief that mental health is a crucial factor in personal wellness, they have conducted more than 600 hours of community mental health programmes. SOLS Health has also assisted more than 500 client lives through their direct therapy services.
Comprising of a team of professional psychiatrists, SOLS Health offers a wide range of therapy services including family therapy and couples therapy. On top of that, they also offer mental health screenings for clients who seek to understand their strength and needs psychosocially. Eligible clients in need of mental health services are provided with financial assistance to help lift their burdens.
Click here to find out what SOLS Health has to offer.
7. The Malaysian Mental Health Association (MMHA)
The Malaysian Mental Health Association is a non-profit voluntary organization run by an elected committee of professionals and interested persons. Formed in 1967 by a team of mental health professionals and community leaders, they seek to promote mental health within the community and to raise the standard of treatment of mental health in Malaysia.
They also offer a plethora of mental health services like the Psychological Support Service and rehabilitation programmes. On top of raising awareness, MMHA also provides affordable counselling services and psychological screening for as low as RM 50.
Check them out here on their official Facebook page.
Explore Our Sources:
- Institute for Public Health. (2020). National Health and Morbidity Survey (NHMS) 2019: Non-communicable diseases, healthcare demand, and health literacy—Key Findings. Link.