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May 2019

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Asian News - Malaysia: More financial protection needed against cancer

Source: Asia Insurance Review | Dec 2015

Cancer treatment costs and late detection are hindering effective treatment of the disease in Malaysia, particularly among the lower-income segment and under-insured.
 
   Dr Myralini S Thesan, AIA Health Services medical advisor added that cancer is the third leading cause of premature death in Malaysia. 
 
   “Many of those deaths would be avoidable if there were more efforts to step up early detection and increased awareness about strengthening financial protection.
 
   “Currently, only 22% of Malaysians have medical insurance or critical illness insurance, which leaves a large segment of the population at risk of facing financial catastrophe if diagnosed with cancer.”
 
Insurers need to design more focused products
Mr Thomas Wong, Chief Marketing Officer, AIA Bhd said that insurers have a role to play in offsetting the risk of catastrophic expenditure, and that cancer coverage has evolved to be more needs-specific from the previous one-size-fits-all approach to medical coverage.
 
   Insurers now see the need to design more focused products based on the concerns of people at different life stages. Targeted and needs-specific products also mean that more Malaysians will have access to medical protection plans.
 
   According to the National Cancer Society Malaysia, estimates are that there are about 100,000 people in the country living with cancer at any one time.
 
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