KUALA LUMPUR: Insurance companies should provide coverage for the expenditure on cosmetic surgeries on cancer patients as it is not merely for cosmetic purposes, but as part of their therapy to live a normal life, says National Cancer Society of Malaysia (NCSM) honorary patron Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz.She said insurance companies should not wait for the government to make the needed changes to Bank Negara Malaysia’s provisions on medical coverage on cosmetic surgeries or prosthetics.“If you lose a breast (due to cancer) and you want to have an implant, it is not cosmetic, but it is for the patient to want to feel like a woman again,” she said after a cheque presentation to underprivileged families with children with cancer organised by the National Cancer Society of Malaysia (NCSM).Rafidah said under the present Bank Negara guidelines on medical coverage, such cosmetic surgeries for cancer patients are still not regarded as surgical fees.
“We hope the government will look into these provisions and make the changes.”She pointed out that although the EPF and private insurance company AIA allow people to access their savings in cases of cosmetic surgery for cancer patients or a relapse, other insurance companies have yet to follow suit.“There was a time when people could not access their savings for cancer treatments such as having prosthetics. It was regarded as cosmetic. It is a replacement of something that is gone and it is a part of the continuation process of normal life,” said Rafidah.On another matter, Rafidah, who sits in the Economic Action Council (EAC), said there is no one cure or an instant cure for an ailing economy with the setting up of just one council.“Nobody should ever claim that one council would enable us to cure everything. That is being silly.“The ‘click’ generation is impatient. We cannot google economic remedies and it comes out for us just by clicking. It is not easy (to cure the economy) as we were left with dry coffers and liabilities of billions,” she added.
She also said that she will bring issues of more assistance for the underprivileged to the EAC.But, the government should stop putting labels on the underprivileged.“Do not slot people into groups of B40, B20. Don’t treat people like bicycles – just say underprivileged. Let us be more humane about this.“A sick person is sick. A billionaire who is sick, is just as sick as a poor person who is sick but a billionaire can afford treatment at the Mayo clinic (in the US). A person from Kuala Kangsar somewhere needs free service.The 16-member council will scrutinise and make decisions regarding economic and financial affairs, as well as the welfare of the people.At the event, 10 children suffering from various types of cancers from underprivileged families received RM500 each.