PETALING JAYA: Patients need not worry about exorbitant specialist fees, says the Association of Specialists in Private Medical Practice Malaysia (ASPMPM).
This follows the Government's move to allow private doctors, specialists and dentists to set their own consultation fees.
Its president Datuk Dr Balwant Singh Gendeh said the Government's decision to lift the fee schedule will not lead to a price hike in the private healthcare sector, adding that doctors and specialists will continue to act professionally and ethically to provide good quality care.
"Specialist fees come under ethics and professionalism...the fear that specialists will charge exorbitantly is unfounded as doing so would affect them negatively," he said in a statement on Sunday (Dec 8).
While he assured patients that they would be charged reasonable fees, Dr Balwant said specialist welcomed the Government's move, saying that it was long overdue.
"The present fee schedules are low and below the normal range in both developed and developing countries.
"Compared to the dental profession and other non-medical professions, the current rate for specialists' fees is much lower, especially when we compare the time spent (on our patients)," he said.
He also advised patients to check with clinics on their fees and encouraged specialists to be more transparent by providing patients with consultation costs.
"Prices will vary between town and city and from specialist to specialist depending on their expertise and experience as well as market forces. ASPMPM will continue to advise and monitor its specialists' professionalism, ethics and quality of care," he said.
On Friday (Dec 6), Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad announced that doctors and dentists will soon get to decide their own prices following the Cabinet's decision to deregulate fee structures.