MMA urges open probe into al­leged medicine sup­ply mo­nop­oly

New Straits Times - - NEWS / STORY OF THE DAY -

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Medical As­so­ci­a­tion (MMA) has urged for an open and trans­par­ent in­ves­ti­ga­tion into claims of a multi-bil­lion medicine sup­ply mo­nop­oly in­volv­ing 20 com­pa­nies linked to politi­cians close to the pre­vi­ous gov­ern­ment.

Its pres­i­dent, Dr Ravindran Naidu, said this al­le­ga­tion had not only threat­ened the lives and health of cit­i­zens but also jeopadised the foun­da­tion of Malaysia.

“The health and lives of many Malaysians may be ad­versely af­fected and at times trag­i­cally due to ir­re­versible dam­age.

“It is im­per­a­tive that the gov­ern­ment medicine ten­der­ing process be made trans­par­ent and ac­count­able, and this process should be avail­able to all stake­hold­ers,” said Dr Ravindran yes­ter­day.

He said any ad­di­tional medicine ac­qui­si­tion ten­der prices must be promi­nently dis­played to the pub­lic.

He added that prom­i­nent peo­ple linked to the gov­ern­ment should not be in firms re­lated to medical sup­ply and health­care ser­vices.

This would only in­crease health­care costs and re­duce ac­cess, which may deny cit­i­zens the right to health­care, he added.

Medical Prac­ti­tion­ers Coali­tion As­so­ci­a­tion has pushed the gov­ern­ment to pub­li­cise medical-re­lated con­tracts, in­clud­ing the health screen­ing for for­eign work­ers which was sealed un­der the Of­fi­cial Se­crets Act (OSA).

Its pres­i­dent, Dr Peter Chan Teck Hock, said all agree­ments should be re­viewed.

“All this must be re­viewed as the in­for­ma­tion was never made pub­lic.”

“If this al­le­ga­tion is true, it would surely have in­creased the cost of health­care.

“It’s a great dere­lic­tion of duty on the part of the guardians of the sick and down­trod­den in the coun­try.”

It was re­ported that the 12page doc­u­ment, which was sub­mit­ted to Health Min­is­ter Dr Dzulke­fly Ah­mad, re­vealed de­tails of the 20 com­pa­nies that acted as “ten­der­ing agents” be­tween 2013 and 2016, which also gained con­tracts worth RM3.7 bil­lion.

The doc­u­ment re­vealed that there were a few agents who car­ried out ten­der­ing and acted for more than 70 phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal com­pa­nies.

Dr Ravindran Naidu

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