Most Malaysians probably breathed a sigh of relief when it was initially announced that healthcare would, in general, be exempted from the upcoming Goods and Services Tax (GST).
After all, one does not choose to fall sick, so implementing GST on healthcare would have been adding salt to the wound.
However, as the months went by, the healthcare community in the country increasingly made it clear that, as Association of Private Hospitals of Malaysia (APHM) president Datuk Dr Jacob Thomas says, the devil is really in the details.
Those who primarily use public health services need not worry as these are not subjected to tax at all.
However, the significant minority who use private healthcare facilities in the country, including buying their own medicines from retail pharmacies, will now have to seriously rethink their budget.