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Sunday August 18, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Sunday August 18, 2013 MYT 11:20:07 AM
PETALING JAYA: The proposed fee increase by private doctors is exorbitant and will burden the rakyat, consumers say.
Fomca and Consumer Research and Resource Centre chief executive officer Datuk Paul Selvaraj said that doctors should first be more transparent about their charges before asking for more money.
“Doctors insist their charges are regulated but the average consumer does not know the fee schedule and won’t even realise if they’ve been overcharged.
“Furthermore, doctors are already making a profit from the sale of medicine since most patients don’t get their prescription from pharmacies,” he said.
He said medical bills were “very vague” as all charges are lumped together.
He also called on private hospitals to display their charges online.
Consumers should be able to anticipate how much they would be charged by the various hospitals before deciding on where to be treated, he said.
“Hospitals in Singapore do this so consumers can make price comparisons before seeking treatment,” he said.
Society of Active Generation Elders president Chin Sek Ham said the proposed rise would put private healthcare out of reach of ordinary wage earners and pensioners.
“Last year, our pension increased by 5% but now we may be asked to pay 30% more for treatment at private clinics. Even wage earners will find that steep, what more pensioners like us?” he said.
He felt it was not justified for doctors to call for higher fees by blaming other healthcare industry players for the high medical bills.
“It doesn’t matter who gets the chunk of the money. The bottomline is that patients have to pay more (if there is an increase in fees).”
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