Scru­tiny on hos­pi­tal con­ces­sion­aires

The Sun (Malaysia) - - NEWS WITHOUT BORDERS - BY G. SURACH

KUALA LUMPUR: Stern ac­tion will be taken against the five con­ces­sion­aires who have con­tracts with the Health Min­istry if they fail to ful­fil obli­ga­tions stip­u­lated in their con­tracts and com­plete jobs in­volv­ing the main­te­nance of govern­ment hos­pi­tals and clin­ics in the coun­try.

Health Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Dr S. Subra­ma­niam said be­tween April and De­cem­ber 2015, the min­istry fined con­ces­sion­aires RM26.7 mil­lion for fail­ure to ex­e­cute their con­tracts.

“Be­tween Jan­uary and Au­gust this year, the con­ces­sion­aires were fined RM23.8 mil­lion,” he told reporters at the Health Min­istry yes­ter­day.

In the wake of a fire at the Sul­tanah Ami­nah Hos­pi­tal in Jo­hor Baru last month which claimed six lives and in­jured four, Subra­ma­niam stressed the min­istry will not hes­i­tate to take ac­tion against con­ces­sion­aires should there be crim­i­nal el­e­ments in­volved.

He added that the min­istry has also warned the con­ces­sion­aires against ap­point­ing sub-con­trac­tors who are un­able to do the re­quired tasks.

“In the mean­time, an in­de­pen­dent com­mis­sion which will be set up to look into the op­er­a­tions and ad­min­is­tra­tion of hos­pi­tals na­tion­wide will come up with sug­ges­tions and ideas on how to im­prove the op­er­a­tions and ad­min­is­tra­tion of hos­pi­tals in the coun­try,” he said, adding that the com­mis­sion is ex­pected to com­prise in­de­pen­dent en­gi­neers and main­te­nance spe­cial­ists.

On another mat­ter, Subra­ma­niam con­firmed a re­port by a Malay daily that the min­istry will in­crease charges by 50% for the treat­ment and hos­pi­tal­i­sa­tion of First Class and Sec­ond Class pa­tients, with ef­fect from Jan 1.

He said the move was nec­es­sary as the cur­rent rates have not been in­creased in the last 30 years.

“Al­though we have in­creased the charges, the govern­ment is still pro­vid­ing a huge sub­sidy. Our main re­spon­si­bil­ity is to en­sure that the lower-in­come group, the Third Class pa­tients, will con­tinue to re­ceive free treat­ment and will not be bur­dened,” he said.

Subra­ma­niam added that from the cur­rent two mil­lion hos­pi­talised pa­tients in the coun­try, only 32,000 are First and Sec­ond Class pa­tients.

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