Are Medical Bills Leading Malaysians To Bankruptcy?
Fondly known as the fastest man in Malaysia, athlete Watson Nyambek was recently declared bankrupt because he was unable to service a staggering amount of bank loan of over RM100,000. He borrowed this money to fund his father’s medical expenses, who was suffering from ear cancer. His father succumbed to cancer two years ago, but Watson has not been able to pay back the loan as he had other financial commitments to fulfil.
Does Nyambek’s story sound familiar? There are many Malaysians out there that are going bankrupt due to medical bills. Out of 8,321 debt default cases solved by Credit Counselling and Debt Management Agency (AKPK) in 2015, 14.3% (or 1,190 cases) was due to high medical costs.
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Besides the exorbitant cost of treatment, surgery, medication and after-care, we also need to consider financial constraints like the inability to work and get a stable income or to service other existing financial commitment concurrently.
If we succumb to our terminal illness, we will leave our families with a huge amount of debt to pay off due to our medical bills. Without insurance coverage, or adequate coverage, even after our death, our families will continue to be affected.
Sickness, especially a prevalent disease like heart disease, is usually unforeseen. Therefore the high cost of treatment can take a family by surprise.
Beyond loss of income and other financial commitment to fund for, they would have medical bills to pay off. With proper and adequate insurance, such circumstances could be easily avoided.
However, with more Malaysians falling sick and dying prematurely due to unhealthy lifestyle, having adequate insurance alone is not enough. It is equally important to consciously adopt a healthy lifestyle. An adequate insurance coverage and a healthier you will lead you to have a medical-debt free life. A little difference a day can go a long way in improving our life quality and health.
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