Need for 1Malaysia medical clinic in Melbourne

By on December 3, 2011

MELBOURNE: The move by the Australian’s Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) in Victoria to no longer cover the cost of maternity, immunisation and dental services for foreign students has caused difficulties for many Malaysian postgraduate students here.

Victoria Malaysian Postgraduate Association president Shamsul Nizam Kachi Mohideen said the problem was that most Malaysian postgraduate students were here with their wives and children.

“If we are to pay for these medical services as private patients, it would be a big financial burden on us,” said the PhD candidate at Monash University here, at a meeting with Malaysian Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman here on Thursday night.

This issue was raised during a meeting between Anifah and Malaysian non-governmental organisations here.

Shamsul Nizam said: “To have OSHC cover was part of the Australian Government’s requirement for international students, but some public hospitals in Victoria, especially in the Southern Health district, are not covering our medical expenses.

“Thus, we are upset with OSHC for not informing us of the changes before we signed up with them,” he said.

Dr Mohd Ihsanuddin Abas 28, a medical officer at Frankston Hospital here has proposed that to solve the costly medical bills faced by Malaysian postgraduate students, a 1Malaysia clinic be set up at Dewan Malaysia in the suburb of Windsor.

The chairman of the Malaysian Muslim Solidarity (Ikatan Muslim Malaysia) Australia told the minister at the meeting that there would be other young Malaysian doctors in Melbourne who would be willing to help Malaysian patients to reduce their medical charges, whereby the doctor’s cost would be met by charging a nominal fee.

Dr Mohd Ihsanuddin later told Bernama that Malaysian students here were now paying more out of their pocket money for medical bills, especially those with family.

“The healthcare system in Australia regards foreigners as private patients who need certain premium covers from insurance but this was not the case for OSHC which has been the sole insurance provider for international students in the past,” he said.

Dr Ihsanuddin, who has a wife and two children here, said the idea of setting up a 1Malaysia clinic in Melbourne came from the issue of helping students and other Malaysians with foreign visas to reduce medical expenses while in Australia. — Bernama

Taken from The Borneo Post

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