KUALA LUMPUR: Private healthcare providers welcome the Government’s intention to collaborate with them so that there would be greater access to healthcare nationwide.
Malaysian Medical Association president Datuk Dr N.K.S. Tharmaseelan said the potential was huge for such collaborations and it would help improve the quality, accessibility and availability of healthcare services, while bringing down the cost of such services.
“Civil servants should be able to seek private healthcare services which in turn will reduce congestion at public hospitals,” he said.
On Thursday, Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam said the Government was considering the collaboration.
He said that they were looking into whether outpatients in the ministry’s system could get treatment from the private sector through government sponsorship.
Hesaid the ministry would also re-visit details of a request by the private sector for them to provide healthcare for 1Malaysia Clinics.
Doctors in the private sector had complained that the Government had spent a lot of money to set up new 1Malaysia Clinics when it could have used their services instead.
Association of Private Hospitals Malaysia president Datuk Dr Jacob Thomas said the ministry and Pemandu were already supporting some of these moves.
“We look forward to meeting with the minister to explore more avenues on the partnership,” he said.
Fomca deputy president Muhammad Sha’ani Abdullah said the Government should hasten the partnership as it had been talking about universal healthcare access for more than 20 years.
“In the past, we have recommended that the Government, employers and employees contribute to the fund for the universal healthcare,” he said.
“The main reason it was delayed was because the Government could not decide on the financing model.”