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MMA: Doctors fees not the only cost

 | July 28, 2012

The Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) says the main complaints are not on the doctors' fees but the exorbitant health fees, medical insurance premiums and others.

PETALING JAYA: Doctors’ fees are no problem for most people. It is the extra charges that they have a problem with.

This was confirmed by Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) president Dr S R Manalan, who told FMT in a statement: “…the main complaints were not on the doctors’ fees but the exorbitant health fees, medical insurance premiums and the fee controlled by Managed Care Organisations (MCO) and Third Party Administrators.”

He was responding to Health Minister Liow Tiong Lai, who said that the the high medical charges are a cause for concern.

Liow added that he is working with private hospitals as well as insurance companies to resolve this issue.

At the time, he said his ministry is trying to see if it can increase private doctor and specialist fees by 14%.

Adding to this, Manalan said that inflating costs of healthcare does not grow in tandem with the cumulative general inflation, which he added, is marked at 18.9% from 2003 to 2010.

“…this is mainly due to non-professional fee components such as pharmaceutical products, other medical products, therapeutic appliances and equipment,” he said.

Manalan added that in many cases doctors are both consumers of healthcare and employers as well.

The wage increase of clinic employees, he said, has to be factored into professional fees together with the general inflation rate.

“Medical liability insurance premiums for various specialties have outpaced the general inflation rate.

“…It would appear that doctors have been singled out for this discriminatory practice,” he said.

According to him, MMCA has always encouraged medical practitioners to determine their fees based on their own practice costs and the ability of patients to pay.

“The cost of running medical practices varies across the country, including employing general practice staff and operating expenses such as computers, rent, electricity, general insurance and professional insurance among others,” he said.


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