‘Hospi­tal fee hikes should not be too stiff’

The Sun (Malaysia) - - NEWS WITHOUT BORDERS - BY KONG SEE HOH

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.

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