The Star Thursday March 6, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
PUTRAJAYA: 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 more than 200% on certain fee ceilings.
Consultation fees, for instance, increased from a range of RM10-RM35 to a new range of RM30-RM125.
Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam, however, said 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 said here yesterday.
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%.
On Monday, an online news portal highlighted that an amendment to the 13th Schedule of the Private Healthcare Facilities and Services Act 1998 had been implemented in a hush manner.
The Private Hospitals and Other Private Healthcare Facilities Regulations 2006 of the Act, which was published in the federal gazette on Dec 16 last year, provides for the maximum chargeable fees for registered medical and dental practitioners practising in private hospitals in terms of their professional fees such as consultation and performance of procedures.