The medical and health charges imposed by government hospitals and clinics in Malaysia are the cheapest in the world, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Tun Razak.

He said the government not only spent a large amount of money providing health service facilities but also imposed the lowest fees in the world on patients.

"When an outpatient sees a doctor, the person needs only pay RM1, while a fee of RM5 is charged if he/she goes to a specialist doctor, and medicine is given free.

"There is no other health system in the world which charges such low a rate. Generally, the health subsidy in Malaysia is at 98 per cent, which means that 98 per cent of the health costs for every patient is borne by the government," he said.

The Prime Minister was speaking at the ceremony to lay down the foundation stone for the Sri Aman Minor Specialist Hospital here today.

“This shows that the health system in Malaysia is among the best in the world. In fact, if we do an analysis of the cost and service provided, I dare to say that the health system in Malaysia is the best in the world," he added.

He said Malaysia was ranked the third best out of 24 countries in the world in the provision of health facilities.

Meanwhile, Najib said the construction of the new Sri Aman hospital, scheduled for completion in 2018, was again proof that the government kept its promises to the people.

He said RM12 million had been spent for land acquisition and site clearing, and an estimated RM150 million would be spent on building the hospital.

When completed, the hospital would have 108 beds and equipped with various facilities, such as operating theatres and haemodialysis and radiotherapy rooms.

“This is proof of the government's efforts to look out for the people and give the highest priority even to those in the rural areas.

"The construction of hospitals and clinics, including the 1Malaysia Clinic, education facilities and so on will continue to be carried out by the federal government with the cooperation of the Sarawak state government.

"There are still some things lacking, I do not deny that, and many challenges, but we will still build additional and new hospitals that will have specialist doctors," he said.

Saying that it was a big challenge persuading specialist doctors to serve in rural hospitals in the state, he said incentives were given to those who served in these hospitals.

At the ceremony, the Prime Minister also handed donations to 18 flood victims from Rumah Lembu, Entulang, Skrang Engkilili and Nanga Tebat, Sri Aman.