Thursday, June 10, 2010


I picked up this MOH reply to the article on " Monitoring Private Hospital fees.

Healthcare: Send grouses to ministry
2010/06/10DR NOORAINI BABA, Director Medical Practice Division Ministry of Health
THE Ministry of Health would like to refer to two letters published in the New Straits Times -- "Where do I take this complaint?" and "Medical insurance: Monitor private hospitals" dated May 27 and June 2 respectively.
The existing dichotomous public and private healthcare system allows the people to choose their preferred healthcare provider based on their eligibility and ability to pay for the services. Currently, the public continues to enjoy heavily subsidised healthcare from public healthcare facilities even though the premiums for medical insurance are said to have been on the increase.
However, the ministry realises the importance of equity and accessibility to good healthcare and this is one of the reasons to closely monitor and regulate both public and private healthcare facilities and services.
The Private Healthcare Facilities and Services Act 1998 (Act 586) and its regulations regulate and control the professional fees imposed on any patient for services rendered by medical practitioners by virtue of the Seventh Schedule (for private clinics) and Thirteenth Schedule (for private hospitals and other healthcare facilities). Hospital charges, on the other hand, are not regulated at the moment in view of the complexity, including the wide variation and choices available to the public within the private healthcare delivery system.
It is unethical to subject patients or insurance companies to unnecessary or unindicated articles, including tests and drugs, and medical practitioners and private hospitals should be held responsible for the additional and inappropriate healthcare costs. All medical practitioners should uphold the professional ethics of the medical profession in managing their patients and adhere to the Code of Professional Conduct issued by the Malaysian Medical Council under the Medical Act 1971 (Act 50).The writer may not be aware that a mechanism to complain against private hospitals is available under Act 586 and in place at all private hospitals.
Any grievance against private hospitals can be submitted to the relevant hospitals where a reply should be provided by the hospitals within 10 working days. For unresolved grievances, complaints can then be submitted to the ministry. Last year, 55 disputes pertaining to the reasonableness of fees, including those from the public and insurance companies, had been received by the ministry. On the other hand, any complaint against unethical practice or misconduct by medical practitioners can be dealt with under Act 50. In addition, the ministry is working closely with various stakeholders to ensure that the professional fees are adhered to.

For enquiries or complaints, email or call the ministry at 03-8883 1302 or 03-8890 6086 or write to the following address: The DirectorMedical Practice DivisionMinistry of HealthLevel 3, Block E1, Complex E,Federal Government Administrative Centre62590 Putrajaya.

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