A father has filed a complaint against a private hospital in Kuala Lumpur alleging that he was charged more than RM200 for 18 pieces of three-ply masks worn by the nurses who were treating his daughter
In the complaint, that has been seen by SAYS, the patient alleges that he was charged RM201.60 for 18 masks that were used by the private hospital's staff while treating his four-year-old daughter.
At RM201.60 for 18 three-ply masks, a single mask at the private hospital was charged at RM11.20, compared to the maximum price of RM1.50 per piece.
The private hospital was allegedly overcharging by RM9.70 for each piece of the mask worn by its nurses to treat the complainant's daughter, who was admitted for COVID-19.
The four-year-old patient tested negative for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
According to the father, while masks are an essential item for the hospital's staff to wear, especially amidst the pandemic, the fact that it charged a patient for the items used by its staff was shameful
The father said that after his complaint, the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry (KPDNHEP) called him to be present at its Putrajaya headquarters on Monday, 11 May.
Following which, an investigation report was initiated by the ministry on 12 May, the father added.
Two days later, the father lodged a complaint with the Ministry of Health's (MOH) Private Medical Practice Control Section (CKAPS) for the private hospital's "breach of integrity and professionalism".
Now the private hospital is under investigation for profiteering
In a statement issued on Friday, 15 May, KPDNHEP said that it is investigating the private hospital for profiteering. The ministry did not name the hospital in the statement that was posted publicly.
According to the ministry's Enforcement director Iskandar Halim Sulaiman, they carried out checks that showed that the face masks were sold at a very high price of RM11.20 each.
"Several documents on the transaction, including the face masks, were confiscated. This case will be investigated under the Price Control and Anti-Profiteering Act 2011 for the offence of selling or offering a price-controlled item for more than the set maximum price," the Enforcement director said.
"The private hospital will also be probed under Section 14 of the same Act for profiteering."
Stressing that the ministry is serious in ensuring that the masks are easily available at the set maximum price, Iskandar urged the public to report any suspicious activity related to price gouging or profiteering.
You can report through KPDNHEP's Enforcement Command Centre (ECC) website.
Meanwhile, on 14 May, prosecutors dropped money laundering charges worth RM1.25 billion linked to the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal against Najib Razak's stepson citing a deal: