KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) has welcomed the government's decision to deregulate private doctors and dentists' consultation fees, calling it a bold move.
Its president Dr N. Ganabaskaran said that private practitioners fees have been regulated since 2013, adding that this has become a contentious issue.
He said that this was most felt by general practitioners because the fee gazetted in the 2006 Private Healthcare Facilities and Services Act (PHFSA) was based on the fee recommended by the MMA in 1992.
"A free market gives the power to the public to decide on the type of value-based services they would like to have," he said in a statement on Friday (Dec 6).
Ganabaskaran said that the MMA has been producing the fee guideline since 1987, which is also a normal practice in many countries as a guide for practitioners, insurers and Third Party Administrators.
"This will also help guide the public to know the charges beforehand," he said.
He urged doctors not to undercut with their professional charges.
"Undercutting will only compromise on professional services. Doctors must emphasise on quality patient-centred care at all times and charge reasonably," he said.