Medical Journal of Malaysia

MJM, Vol 70 Supplement 1 September 2015

Cost of dental examination and diagnosis in Sabah Public Dental Clinics

Khairiyah AM*, Natifah CS*, Ishak AR**, Raja Latifah RJ**, Jegarajan P***, Lawrence MHK***, Zuhty H ***, Adelina A***, Zainatunomri O*** Dianne RW***, Siew Eng C***, Norinah M***

*Oral Health Division, Ministry of Health Malaysia, **Faculty of Dentistry, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, ***Oral Health Division, Sabah State Health Department


Introduction: Costing on service resource consumption are useful for budgetary and service planning as it provides information on the efficiency of use of human resources, equipment, materials, vehicles and others input. This study would provide the mean cost of dental examination and diagnosis (E&D) procedure in urban and rural public dental clinics in Sabah state.

Method: One urban and one rural public dental clinic were conveniently selected. Prospective quota sampling of E&D cases with a minimum of 30 cases per clinic was instituted. Macro-costing involved capital and recurrent expenditures of the clinics in the year 2009. The micro-costing was based on treatment time (in minutes), number of personnel involved and materials used for the E&D procedure.

Results: Forty E&D cases in urban (51.3%) and thirty-eight in the rural clinics (48.7%) were included. The mean macro-cost was RM67.09 (Standard Deviation (SD) 26.56), higher in the urban areas (RM 92.82, SD 0) than the rural (RM 40.00 SD 0). The mean micro-cost was RM 17.57 (SD 14.45), higher in urban (RM20.73, SD 18.99) than in rural areas (RM 14.24, SD 5.64). Overall, the mean total cost for E&D was RM84.66 (SD 32.98), higher in the urban areas (RM113.55, SD 18.99) as compared to the rural (RM54.25, SD 5.64).

Conclusion: The mean cost for the dental E&D in this study was RM84.66, higher than a study done in Selangor public dental clinics (RM 48.71), which attributed to higher capital and recurrent expenditures cost in Sabah (RM67.09) than in Selangor (RM35.82). The dental E&D procedure is highly subsidised by the government as patients only pay RM1.00 in Sabah public dental clinics.

Keywords: Cost, dental examination & diagnosis, Sabah