Gov’t Clinics, Hospitals Going Cashless Starting 1 October, But You Can Still Pay With Cash If You Want To

The move by MOH is intended to prevent corruption-related money misuse and to reduce the risk of Covid infection.
(credit: Malay Mail/fanjianhua/Freepik)

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When was the last time you made a purchase with cash? Nowadays, many locations accept cashless payments, and you may pay most, if not all, of your expenses online. Yet, Malaysia is still a very cash-oriented nation, although in light of the pandemic, we are gradually moving toward adopting cashless payment. The less you touch and accept things from strangers, the better.

In a news report by Berita Harian, all Ministry of Health (MoH) facilities are expected to accept cashless payments from next October.

Payments can be made through e-payment modes such as debit cards, credit cards and e-wallets from 1 October 2022, while cash payments are only allowed if customers do not have such access.

The 2021 Malaysia Digital Economy Blueprint for the federal and state levels specifies cashless payment as a possible means of payment in a circular from the MoH Secretary General. Additionally, it was put into place in accordance with the MoH Anti-Corruption Plan 2021–2022, which sought to stop the leaking of public funds.

All MoH facilities will only accept cashless payments through e-payment modes such as debit cards, credit cards and e-wallets from 1 October 2022.

Payment in cash is only allowed if the customer does not have any e-payment modes or a bank account.

Ministry of Health

The MoH anticipates favourable outcomes from the initiative, including a decrease in the possibility of public funds being lost and an improvement in the effectiveness of managing revenue receipts at the counter.

Revenue collection will be faster, easier and safer. In addition, there is a reduction in costs and work processes in revenue collection matters at the Pusat Tanggungjawab (PTJ) level and a reduction in the risk of COVID-19 infection at the payment counter due to the ‘contactless platform’.

Ministry of Health

There are some people who welcome the initiative, but there are also those who prefer the traditional way of paying.

The newspaper company, The Star, recently interviewed and asked a few people what they think about this cashless payment.

The MoH was applauded by Jimmy Wong, 40, for implementing cashless payments across all of its institutions, calling it a simpler and more efficient system.

Wong described his last year’s small stroke event, during which he was hospitalised for a month and need to pay over RM4,000 in medical expenses.

It would have been so troublesome if I had to physically go to the ATM and withdraw that amount to pay my medical fees after checking out.

Jimmy Wong

Wong added that accepting credit card payments would also be highly practical for people who run out of money at the end of the month.

He argued that elderly or disadvantaged people should maintain cash payments since they might not have access to an e-wallet or credit card.

The MoH latest approach, according to Darshan Singh, 80, who does not have a credit card or any other type of e-wallet, may cause problems. He added he might have to ask his son to set up an e-wallet account on his smartphone.

Darshan acknowledged that cashless payments might be a safer alternative despite always paying for his doctor visits with cash since he is getting older and forgetful about his money.

Christina Tan, 38, who recently visited the University of Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC) for an examination said using cashless payments was simple.

My eyesight was very limited after surgery and it would’ve been impossible for me to pay with cash and ensure I get the right change back.

Christina Tan

What do you think about this new initiative? Will you be paying by cash or cashless?

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