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Health Ministry to investigate 'cartel-style' control of dialysis centres

KUALA LUMPUR: The Health Ministry will look into allegations of "cartel style" control over the licence application and renewal processes for privately-run dialysis centres.

Deputy Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Hilmi Yahaya said this in response to a question by Dr Siti Mariah Mahmud (Amanah-Kota Raja) over the difficulties faced by those applying for such licences, in Parliament on Wednesday.

Dr Siti Mariah had claimed that dialysis centre operators struggled to fix appointments with Ministry officers, who had to inspect the centres in person before a licence could be issued or renewed.

As a result, she said, a good number of operators had to continue business with an expired licence because an appointment could not be arranged in time.

"There are also claims that the licence procedures are controlled in a cartel-like manner by some officers who are involved in issuing new licences and renewing existing ones.

"This is not a good thing for the industry, and in fact, some say the dialysis centre industry is a gold mine for those issuing licences," she added.

In his response, Dr Hilmi said the issuance of licences to privately operated dialysis centres was under the supervision of the Private Healthcare Practice Control Branch (CKAPS).

"Claims of cartel-style management, difficulty in getting licences, and operators with expired licences are serious accusations and we will investigate them," he said.