‘Hospital fee hikes should not be too stiff’
FEDERATION of Malaysian Consumer Associations (Fomca) deputy president Mohd Yusof Abdul Rahman said an increase in treatment and hospitalisation charges is not unreasonable but hoped that the quantum of increases is not too large, particularly for second class wards, which many patients opt for.
“I hope the increase in fees for second class wards is not as high as that for first class,” he told China Press when asked to comment on media reports of the impending increase in government hospitals.
A Malay daily had reported last week that the Health Ministry will increase the charges by 50% for the treatment and hospitalisation of first class and second class patients from Jan 1, 2017.
On Monday, Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam confirmed that the charges for the upper two classes will be increased but he did not say by how much.
Mohd Yusof pointed out that more patients choose second class wards over first class wards.
He said the public chooses to seek inpatient treatment in government hospitals probably because they feel more comfortable there, or due to financial considerations.
“The charges for treatment and hospitalisation in private hospitals are very high. As such, those who can’t afford it choose government hospitals for medical treatment, and will pick second class wards,” he said.
Third class wards in government hospitals, he said, are meant for those in the lower income bracket. He said the ministry’s decision to increase treatment and hospitalisation charges is understandable as the last increase was 34 years ago in 1982.