Tuesday, February 08, 2011

MEETING WITH DG of MOH. 8th Feb 2011

It is still Chinese New Year. My clinic is still not open. My staff are still away.
, so I spend an hour this morning meeting with the DG of Health on issues affecting GPs and private practice doctors. We did make some headway trying to improve the current working conditions of GPs and private doctors.
One of the most important points that we made was the issue of "kickbacks" and "fees-splitting". The DG is very categorical that THERE MUST BE NO KICKBACKS OR FEES SPLITTING. This also includes, no contracts by the hospitals-doctors to force doctors to split their fees. This also includes no blacklisting of doctors who did not agree to kickbacks. No more contracts by hospitals to force doctors to cover for the hospitals in the event of litigation by patients. We have asked the DG to crack the whip. we are prepared to give evidence of one sided contracts force upon doctors, we are prepared to give him names of doctors who have been blacklisted. We are prepared to give him evidence of MCOs asking for feedback. He knows of the situation in Adventist Hospitals, Penang. He has send his senior officer to go and talk to the Adventist Hospital management. We were quite forceful, asking him to crack the whip, or else the hospitals will continue to make doctors sign, one sided contracts, including kickback clauses. However, the DG has also informed us that the private hospitals and MCOs have asked for another meeting with the Minister of Health, to re-discuss this issue. We have asked to be invited to this meeting. Let us see if they will.
The DG also informed us that there will soon be a fees schedule for private hospitals. They are still working on it. So our work last year is not all in vain.
He also informed us that the country is not yet ready for a separation of dispensing and prescribing. There are still not enough pharmacist in the country. He did say that it will eventually come about. That doctors will soon not be allowed to dispense. They however will be allowed to employ pharmacist to work at their clinic.
There were some other minor issues discussed, like doctors changing clinic location can apply for an amendment to their registration, thus not requiring re-registration.
By and large, it was a good meeting, with much fruitful discussion. We shall wait and see the outcomes, and see if the discussions bear fruit. That afterall, is most important, the outcome. we wait patiently.

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