|Photo grab from The Sunday Star 28 July 2013|
Whenever I read about public appeals for funds to help someone in need of medical treatment, my heart goes out to this person and his family. Malaysians are known for their generosity when it comes to donating towards a good cause. But when a choice has to be made, people are more inclined to fork out money to help children than adults seeking medical treatment. There are hardly any public appeals for funds to help the elderly seeking medical treatment, as at that age, sad to say, they are probably considered a lost cause.
Surgery and hospitalization can cost an arm and a leg. Then there is rehabilitation, followed by a regime of prescription drugs that the patient has to take, often for the rest of his life. Private hospitals and pharmaceutical companies rake in billions in profits each year. Surely they can afford to shave off a couple of billions by lowering the cost of medical treatment for people like Mr Wong Khai Loon, 48, above who has stage 4 pancreatic cancer. He has exhausted all his savings of RM8000 on medicine, chemotherapy and other treatment. Three of his children are still studying, and the fourth is only three years old. He owes four monthly installments of Rm1800 each on his house. Unless he receives generous donations from the public, or free treatment from the hospital, the future looks bleak for him and his family.
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Most of these public appeals for donations come from cancer patients who desperately need the funds to pay for surgery or chemotherapy. Why is cancer treatment so expensive? Why is the efficacy of chemotherapy so low? Are there cheaper and more effective alternatives to chemotherapy and radiation?
These questions and the knowledge that a few of my friends are battling the disease right now have got me interested in searching for some answers on the internet. Here are two videos I would like to share. Please view them with an open mind.
(Disclaimer: All information posted here is merely for information - not as advice or recommendation. For that, please consult a doctor or other appropriate medical professional that you can trust. Always seek a second, even a third opinion, and do your own research as well.)