Objectives: Health care services in Malaysia are widely available and accessible at a minimal cost. However, in pursuing with the health care reform, policy-makers and hospital managers need to know the unit cost for the purpose of planning and efficiency of providing the services. This study estimated the cost of out-patient services in a public hospital
Methods:The study was conducted in a 341 bedded hospital that provide secondary level care to 24,486 in-patients and 127,389 specialist out-patients in 2010. The costs were estimated using a step-down approach where the costs were allocated to the different cost-centres. Capital costs were annualised cost of capital item with life expectancy of more than 1 year and recurrent cost were all inputs consumed within a year. Total costs were then allocated to the in-patient and out-patient services based on historical financial data with a ratio of 1: 4. This was then followed by a stepwise approach of allocating the ancillary department cost centres to the clinical department cost centres. The unit cost per patient visit was calculated based on the number of visits for each department. Base year of 2010 was used to calculate the cost and patients visits. Costs were calculated from the perspective of the hospital.
Conclusions: The findings provide an estimate of the costs for out-patient visit. At the current minimal fee of MYR 5.00 (USD 1.5), the Ministry of Health is subsidising more than 95.0% of the health care cost for each patient. These estimates provide the policy-makers with an understanding of the cost data should they need to establish a cost basis for payment rates.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.