PETALING JAYA: A 14.4% rise is “more appropriate” than the rate proposed by the Malaysian Medical Association, according to the Health Ministry.
Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the quantum was based on the consumer price index of healthcare for the period 2002 to 2010 and decided after consulting various ministries and stakeholders.
He added that the ministry would add new clauses to the present regulations to reduce any attempt by medical and dental practitioners to manipulate the cost of procedures.
Dr Noor Hisham said doctors must adhere to the 13th Schedule of the Private Healthcare Facilities and Services (Private Hospitals and Other Private Healthcare Facilities) Regulations 2006 for their professional charges, but other hospital fees including accommodation, laboratory investigations, nursing care and procedures, and use of drugs, equipment and operation room remain unregulated.
“(In addition to the various unregulated fees), the varying costs of operating in different areas of the country make the total cost of medical treatment at private hospitals pricier than at government-subsidised public hospitals.
“However, medical costs in the country are still lower than in Thailand and Singapore,” he said, adding that patients have a right to request for an estimation of charges based on initial diagnosis and other anticipated fees.
“The regulations state that private hospitals shall ensure that patients are kept informed.
“The Association of Private Hospitals of Malaysia has agreed to encourage private hospitals to display the cost of treatment for various common medical and dental procedures on their websites,” he said.
He said that insurers and Managed Care Organisations are also closely monitoring claims made by doctors.
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