Friday, February 04, 2011


As you are all aware, I get invited to the Task Force for amendments to the 13th Fees schedule of the Private Healthcare Facilities and Services Regulations 2006. We had our final; meeting on the 27th Jan. 2011 ( I almost forgot to post, in the midst of all the festivities and golf ). The final meeting was chaired by Dato Dr Nor Hisham ( deputy DG - medical services division ). Looks like all the proposal has passed the first round. I must confess that some of the fees asked for is outrageous. Doctors sometimes are unrealistic and do not know market sentiments and consumer concerns. One party even asked that post operative cardio-surgical ICU care professional fees be RM 500 per hour or a maximal of RM 5,000 per day. !!!! Can you imagine? When we all objected, he was trying to justify. One member of the committee asked, then if the patient stays in ICU 1 month, the post op fees is RM 150,000??
Anyway, I learned through this exercise, that doctors ( I wont say all ) are inherently greedy. They all ( not all ) feel that they are God's gift to mankind. And I mean, these are not poor specialist. Not by any stretch of imagination. For one, they are all obviously richer than me.
Anyway, the chairman made a few points which I must pass on.
1. The amended fees schedule will be a Ministry of Health amended 13th Fees schedule.
2. The proposed 30% across the board increase is accepted for all procedures currently listed in the 13th Fees schedule. All procedures current not listed, will be derived from a compromised fees between the College of Surgeons' proposal and the MMA 5th schedule. we will have to meet to combine the two into a reasonable one.
3. After office hours will be allowed a 50% increase in fees. He hopes that this will not be mis-used. Bilateral operations will be allowed two separate full fees. Ad hoc angioplasty will be allowed a separate full fees from the angiogram fees. The anaesthetist fees will be revamped totally, based on anatomical sites, degree of difficulty and also time. Time will be from skin to skin and for 15 mins portion of RM 100.
4. Other related business - the MOH will look to have full private hospital fees disclosure. The public hospital full fee paying will be 20% full fees. They will work out full fees for case related fees, so that we will know what is reasonable fees for procedures. This is an initial attempt to control private hospital fees. Doctors are also asked to come out with justification for their fees. I was asked, " why do you charge RM 1,250 for angiogram fees?" How do I breakdown my fees? All these seem to be in preparation for the eventual health insurance that may be coming.

Anyway, please note that this is not all cast in stone. There will be a weekend workshop ( bengkel ) from the 18th - 20th Feb to finalise the complete amendments. ( No golf on that weekend ). This will then be passed to the minister, who will present it to the cabinet for approval, before the minister make the press announcement, sometime in March 2011.
There are heavy rumours that GE 14 maybe in April 2011.

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