Drastic Increase In Dental Treatment Charges At Government Clinics And Hospitals
Health DG confirms price hike for dental charges but there's good news
Responding to a circular on dental cost hike that has gone viral recently, Health director-general Datuk Seri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah has stepped in to offer some clarifications on the matter yesterday, 1 February.
Although it's true that the base cost for dental services at government clinics and hospitals will be increased starting 1 March, the good news is the new rates will not be imposed as there will be no changes in fees paid by patients due to subsidies.
Noor Hisham stressed that the outpatient dental procedures charges at government clinics will remain unchanged.
It was reported that the fees stated in the viral circular are the amount that patients need to pay if the services were not subsidised
"Outpatient charges as it is today will remain but (the receipt) will show the actual cost patients would have to pay (without subsidy)," Noor Hisham was quoted as saying by Malaysiakini.
"(The fee will be) RM2 but (the receipt) will be RM55," he explained, referring to the cost of teeth scaling.
Meanwhile, Noor Hisham has retracted an earlier statement related to inpatient charges to avoid confusion
"The new charges will only be borne by patients who could afford (for patients who fall under first and second class category) them, however, third class patients will continue to enjoy the subsidy. Third class patients receive up to 98% of medical and dental subsidy," read a statement by Noor Hisham yesterday.
Malaysiakini reported that this portion of the statement was removed to avoid confusion.
It is learned that the statement was later revised to state that the charges for patients in 1st and 2nd class are set for a revision as they have not been reviewed ever since it was first introduced in 1982.
1 FEB: The dental treatment charges at government clinics and hospitals is set to increase starting today, 1 February
1. Tooth Extraction (per tooth)
Old price: RM1
New price: RM15
Old price: RM2
New price: RM55
3. Filling (per tooth)
Old price: RM2
New price: RM25
The new charges above were stated in a circular sent by the Finance Division of the Ministry of Health dated 26 January 2017.
However, it is said that these new charges will only be enforced on 1 March 2017
According to a circular issued by Murni Rahayu Ahmad Anuar, of the Finance Division from the Ministry of Health (MOH), the new dental charges are in accordance with the Fees (Medical) (Amendment) Bill 2017, and will take effect on 1 February 2017.
However, the implementation has been postponed to 1 March 2017 for charges involving dental care.
Responding to the matter, Dr Azman Ibrahim from PAS has questioned the government's drastic move, especially when the rakyat are already being burdened by the new petrol prices
"I'm not sure what is the rationale behind this sudden increase because the patient is being charged more but it will certainly not reduce the financial burdens of the government in channelling allocations to the Oral Healthy Division and Ministry of Health," the head of the PAS Terengganu Welfare Department said.
He further pointed out that the RM55 fee for scaling is higher than the prices set at private clinics which is only about RM50.
Do you think it is fair to increase the dental treatment charges at government clinics and hospitals now? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.