PETALING JAYA: Insurance coverage should be extended for existing policyholders if they need to be treated for Covid-19, said the Association of Private Hospitals Malaysia (APHM).
Its president Datuk Dr Kuljit Singh (pic) said this after starting discussions with the government for private hospitals to also start managing and treating some Covid-19 cases.
“My proposal and appeal to insurance companies is that they should cover their policyholders so that we can treat them without having to burden the government to pay for them," said Dr Kuljit.
He added that policyholders could not go to the government hospitals, because these hospitals are full and cannot accept them.
“If they come to private hospitals, they will have to pay out of pocket, ” he said when contacted on Friday (Jan 15).
He added that APHM is also in discussions with the Health Ministry regarding Covid-19 patients from government hospitals who will be transferred to private hospitals but are without insurance coverage.
“We will have to negotiate with the Finance Ministry and Health Ministry to come up with a suitable payment scheme. We are happy to treat the Covid-19 patients, but somebody must be able to cover the costs," said Dr Kuljit.
He added that private hospitals cannot treat these patients for free as they have fixed capital expenditure.
"If we keep absorbing the costs, we will go bankrupt, ” he said.
Kuljit lauded the Health Ministry for taking on the task of treating Covid-19 patients exclusively last year, adding that private hospitals are willing to learn and relieve the government’s burden.
“It is commendable that the Health Ministry took on this effort on their own in the last 10 months. For private hospitals, we also need to sort out our infrastructure and manpower constraints," he said.
He added that private hospitals are bracing themselves to treat all categories of Covid-19 patients, including those who have to be admitted to the ICU.
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