How much is cataract surgery in PPUM?

How much is the cost of a cataract removal surgery in PPUM (Pusat Perubatan University Malaya) or University Malaya Medical Centre.

My mom had her cataract surgery done in PPUM in late November 2021.

1. The cost

1. LensRM 1,000.00
2. PCR Covid TestRM 230.00
3. Surgery RM. 550.00
TotalRM 1,780.00

On November 2021 we are still fighting covid, PPUM requires patient to take a PCR test at PPUM, results from other clinic or medical centre will NOT be accepted.

2. RUKA Appointment

Ruka Appointment using iPhone

To start from scratch, you’ll need to see a doctor. One may start with a RUKA clinic appointment.

Do not go without an appointment.

They will chase you out without a legit digital appointment. I had try to register with the mobile app as the flyer instructed. It doesn’t work with the WeHealth that I downloaded on AppStore.

Register on Safari instead, don’t bother with the app, it’s not functioning. 

I went to PPUM physically and the officer told me that the mobile app is (forever) updating, but their Safari desktop version works.


If you are using an iPhone and it is stuck after the “fill in information” page, press aA and Request Desktop Website

3. The wait

My mum was 57 years old, considered a young age for cataract surgery. She did her left eyes earlier in year 2019.

She had to wait until the left eye fully recovered, then the doctor arranged her for right eye.

Year 2016She visited Japan and had a night visit at Mount Moiwa. While her friends were all awed by the city view, she saw nothing except a few weak blink in the dark.
2018 and beforemore than 8 years with PPUM Eye Clinic, she has regular check-up for glaucoma and other complications. It was during the constant scheduled check up, the doctor noticed she developed cataract.
Early 2019 The doctor arranged her first surgery. The operation date was appointed at 3 months later.

My mom is still working a 9-5 office job, with OT during peak period. She persuaded the doctor for a shorter queue because she drives to work every day, and travels back home at night.

So far, she has high blood pressure, thyroid, and glaucoma issue.

She also eats an apple a day. She really likes apple.

But she maintains her figure very well, looks 10 years younger than her peers and has little wrinkles.
Mid of 2019Surgery done (left eye). The doctor advised to wait for 6 months until the left eye is fully recovered and they can proceed with right eye.
Nov 2019It’s time to arrange the next surgery.
December 2019 – June 2021The scheduled check up, and appointed surgery was delayed numerous time due to MCO.
November 2021Operation day (right eye).
The timeline of our cataract surgery in PPUM
My mom

4. The service

I believe its the “traditional”, large incision surgery. Extracapsular surgery. It does not involve “laser” or ultra-sound. Arriving at 7:30am sharp, 8am eye drops, 9am doctor starts the surgery.

The expected long wait

In PPUM they carry out around 5 – 7 patients a day, nothing more than that.

On the first eye, treating 6 patients, my mom was the fourth. The staff said it depends on how “fast” the pupil enlarges. All patients entered the room before 8am, and the doctor picked patient that was ready to go first. The doctor takes around 45 – 50 minutes on each patient, so my mom finished and left the hospital at 3pm.

For the second eye, treating 5 patient per day only because of SOP, my mom was the last, for her pupil enlarges slower than the others. The staff said this doctor is experienced and works quickly, each patient was done around 25 minutes, my mom finished and left the hospital at 12:45pm.

Houseman / Trainee Surgeon

Unfortunately, on the second eye, on the operation table my mom could hear that her operation was done by a houseman, receiving instruction from the specialist doctor. She felt pain during the second surgery.

Goosebump when I heard the story.

The doctor on the next day explained that it was because her glaucoma complications, the eyes wasn’t numbed completely. It was also her glaucoma, she had to wait for the anesthetist to come at her round, thus causing the delay. The houseman doctor did not bring about the pain.

5. Comparing to private clinic

My grandma had her cataract surgery on the following years, both at private clinics.

year 2007an eye clinic in Midvalley~RM8,000
year 2015Hospital Tun Hussein Onn~RM3,000 including post-op

It’s been years I only remember the rough figure. Both were “laser” ultrasound surgery.

6. The aftercare

She has to come back at 8am the next day for dressing.

7. The place

I’m a coffee addict. So let’s rate the place in terms of coffee.

coffee Menara Timur PPUM
Menara Timur PPUM Coffee

I tried out total 3 coffees in PPUM.

1. Menara Timur Breakfast Stall

Rate: 4.5/5

Legit gourmet coffee.

2. The Vending Machine right outside Eye ward

I can’t help me. I love coffee and I love vending machines.

Rating: 2/5

RM5.90 for a huge cup, but its not made by fresh milk and it has a weird smell. Only get this if you can’t leave 4th floor at all.

3. O’brien Irish Sandwich Cafe

Rating: 2/5 (Coffee only)

Cleanliness: Greasy table

Staff: Not very polite, the typical “I-owed-them-money” type of service

Coffee: Awful (see picture below)

View: The view is worth it. You know, in a depressing hospital, O’brien Sandwich has the best view.

freshly made latte at O’brien Irish Sandwich Cafe

There is a decent coffee shop along Jalan Gasing (Gasing 123). There were times I don’t want to search for parking in PPUM, I parked in front of Gasing 123 instead and “grab” myself there.

6. The scheduled check up

Photo by Artem Maltsev on Unsplash

Her check ups always took place on weekdays. Even with appointments, the check up will end average on 2pm.

7. Parking

Photo by Michael Fousert on Unsplash

My mom is a very stingy, I mean, frugal with her money.

One time I forgot to check how much is the parking fee (touch and go), she wasn’t very happy. She kept wonder how much was the parking fee all day.

Average parking is from RM7 to RM13. Depending on how long you’ve park.

She can always find parking in PPUM, so I guess it’s not that hard to find a spot.

8. The spectacles

Photo by Josh Calabrese on Unsplash

Cataract surgery gives you a brand new lens. So my mom was originally 600度 or -6D short-sightedness and some long-sightedness on both eyes.

If you ask me, it’s too much Korean drama.

With each surgery done, she has to “renew” her glass lenses, because cataract does not fix long-sightedness.

Her glasses lens are f*cking expensive at 600 ringgit, I’m a bit confused with this, but that’s what she told me.

So I assume after each surgery she has to fork out another 300 ringgit for new lens.

Author: DonaLiew

Posted on 28 Nov 2021

How much does cataract removal surgery cost in UMMC?

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