About a couple of weeks back, a private hospital in Kuala Lumpur charged a patient RM201.60 for 18 masks used by its nurses.
The hospital now has to pay RM200,000 fine for profiteering.
According to the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry (KPDNHEP), the private hospital was imposed with a compound of RM200,000 for selling three-ply face masks higher than its ceiling price.
In a statement posted publicly, KPDNHEP said the compound for the offence the hospital committed under Section 11 of the Price Control and Anti-Profiteering Act 2011.
If the hospital fails to pay the RM200,000 compound within the specified time, it will be charged in court.
The issue came to light after a patient's father lodged a complaint
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 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 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.
In a statement issued last Friday, 15 May, KPDNHEP said that it was 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," Iskandar said.
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
Meanwhile, in the statement posted today, 22 May, KPDNHEP said that the ministry is "serious about ensuring that face masks are available at a price that does not exceed the maximum allowed".
On the other hand, 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: