news

The Price For Healthcare In Malaysia Is Much More Expensive Now

While Malaysians were busy worrying about the price of petrol and electricity, the fee structure for healthcare in Malaysia was increased without warning.

Cover image via tumblr.com

Health Minister Explains Increase In Medical Rates Were Made To Protect The People

Health Minister Dr S Subramaniam

Image via The Star

Private medical fees are up, but there is confusion over the exact percentage of the rise. While the Health Minister said the increase has been capped at 14.4% – less than half the amount the Malaysian Medical Association had requested – the medical schedule showed hikes of a few hundred per cent on certain fee ceilings.

thestar.com.my

While the Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam said that the fees were the maximum amount that doctors were allowed to charge and they were free to charge less. “Those (in the fee schedule) are the maximum rates. We are protecting the people from being charged exorbitantly by the private sector,” he told a press conference here on Wednesday.

thestar.com.my

Dr Subramaniam said the ministry had rejected the Malaysian Medical Association’s request for a 30% increase. He added that the 14.4% increase was reasonable given that the inflation rate was around 23%.

thestar.com.my

Dr Subramaniam said that the market forces were expected to determine the fees that facilities would impose within the ambit. “Prudent and discerning public are encouraged to seek treatment at private facilities charging reasonable rates,” he said.

thestar.com.my

According To Malaysiakini, The Fees For Private Healthcare Services In Malaysia Increased On 16 December 2013

According To Malaysiakini, The Fees For Private Healthcare Services In Malaysia Have Increased On 16 December 2013

Image via regencyspecialist.com

Much attention has been focused on price increases of food and petrol but, unknown to many, is an amendment to a schedule of the law that regulates fees for private healthcare services.

malaysiakini.com

When contacted, MPs who are medical doctors by training, said they were in the dark over the increase as the hikes were implemented in a hush manner.

malaysiakini.com

The Government Had Quietly Amended The 13th Schedule Of The Private Healthcare Facilities And Services Act 1998 That Regulates Fees For Private Healthcare Services

The Government Had Quietly Amended The 13th Schedule Of The Private Healthcare Facilities And Services Act 1998 That Regulates Fees For Private Healthcare Services

Image via mkini.net

This Amendment Provides For Across-The-Board Increase In Fees For Medical Consultation And Procedures

The amended 13th Schedule of the Private Healthcare Facilities and Services Act 1998 was published in the federal gazette on Dec 16, 2013, providing for across-the-board increases in fees for medical consultation and procedures.

malaysiakini.com

Medical Procedures Face A Price Hike Between 14%-18%

Medical procedures also saw a price hike of between 14 percent and 18 percent. The surgeon's fee for a lumbar puncture has been revised from RM650 to RM745, repair of bladder from RM1,875 to RM2,145 and kidney transplant from RM4,150 to RM4,750.

yahoo.com

If the procedures require an anaesthetist, the cost for such services has similarly been increased.

yahoo.com

Medical Procedures Face A Price Hike Between 14% - 18%

Image via nst.com.my

The Fee Cap For First Consultation With A General Practitioner Has Increased From RM35 To RM125

For example, the fee cap for first consultation with a general practitioner has been RM10 to RM35 - but the new amendment increases this to RM30 to RM125.

yahoo.com

For Consultations With Specialist Doctors, The Fee Range Has Increased From RM30-RM125 To RM80-RM235

Likewise, for specialist doctors, the fee range for first consultation, which was between RM30 and RM125, has now increased to between RM80 and RM235.

malaysiakini.com

The Price Increase Includes Dental Services. For Example, The Price Of Non-Surgical Tooth Removal Has Increased From RM40-RM250 To RM45-RM285.

The price hike also includes dental services. For example, a non-surgical permanent removal of a tooth had a price range cap of RM40 to RM250 but it is now RM45 to RM285.

malaysiakini.com

The Price Increase Includes Dental Services. For Example, The Price Of Non-Surgical Tooth Removal Has Increased From RM40-RM250 To RM45-RM285.

Image via manipal.edu

PKR's Wangsa Maju MP Dr Tan Kee Kwong Says The Price Hike Was Not Highlighted In Parliament

PKR's Wangsa Maju MP Dr Tan Kee Kwong Says The Price Hike Was Not Highlighted In Parliament.

Image via themalaysianinsider.com

"As MP, I am not aware of this and it was certainly not highlighted in the last round of sitting in Parliament," PKR's Wangsa Maju MP Dr Tan Kee Kwong said.

malaysiakini.com

This can be explained by Section 106(2) of the Private Healthcare Facilities and Services Act, which grants the health minister the power to amend prices in the 13th Schedule by way of an order published in the gazette, after consulting the ministry's director-general. This means the procedure does not go through Parliament and MPs need not be consulted or informed.

malaysiakini.com

"As a former medical practitioner, I feel this drastic price increase is not warranted... the rakyat are already suffering from all kinds of price hikes," he said.

yahoo.com

PSM's Sungai Siput MP Dr Jeyakumar Devaraj Says Doctors Had Complained About The Outdated Fee Structure

PSM's Sungai Siput MP Dr Jeyakumar Devaraj Says Doctors Had Complained About The Outdated Fee Structure.

Image via aliran.com

Meanwhile, PSM's Sungai Siput MP Dr Jeyakumar Devaraj said he too was not aware of the medical fee hikes but noted that doctors have complained that the old fee structure was outdated and for some time have been seeking an increase.

yahoo.com

Jeyakumar said the large number of general practitioners means that consultation fees will not increase significantly, even though they are allowed to do so under the new 13th Schedule. This is because of stiff competition among them. However, the same will not be true for medical procedures, which are more limited and subjected to less competition, he told Malaysiakini when contacted.

yahoo.com

Jeyakumar reiterated PSM's stance that quality healthcare is the responsibility of the government and should not be left to private companies that dish out expensive bills. "There can never be a good time to increase prices of healthcare services. The government is taking the wrong policy approach by relying on the private healthcare system.

malaysiakini.com

The Government Owns 60% Of Private Hospitals Through Government-Linked Companies Such As Sime Darby, Petronas And Pantai Holdings

Pantai Hospital.

Image via hospitalmaponline.com

"In fact, more than 60 percent of private hospitals, by bed numbers, are owned by the government through government-linked companies such as Sime Darby, Petronas, KPJ (Kumpulan Perubatan Johor) and Pantai Holdings Berhad.

malaysiakini.com

"This is a major problem we are facing in the country. There is serious conflict of interest on the part of the government," he said. Jeyakumar said the government should halt the expansion of the private healthcare system and focus on providing quality and affordable public healthcare.

yahoo.com

Malaysia Is Listed Among The Top 5 Countries With The Best Healthcare For Its Medical Expertise And Affordability

On 19 February 2014, A 10-Year-Old Girl Claimed That A 1Malaysia Clinic Gave Her Expired Medication