Scrutiny on hospital concessionaires
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.