KUALA LUMPUR, May 9 — The Cabinet suggested that the National Cost of Living Action Council first discuss a proposal to raise general practitioners’ (GPs) consultation fees, Dzulkefly Ahmad said today.
The health minister said last April 24, he had proposed to the Cabinet to amend Schedule 7 of the Private Health Care Facilities and Services Act 2006, in order to harmonise the consultation fees of GPs operating shoplot practices (RM10 to RM35) with the rates earned by their hospital-based counterparts under Schedule 13 of the 2013 amendment to that law (RM35 to RM125).
“While the Cabinet understood the need and the rationale of the suggested amendment, the meeting suggested that this issue be discussed first at the National Cost of Living Action Council, and then to have it retabled for the consideration and approval of the Cabinet,” Dzulkefly said in a statement.
The National Cost of Living Action Council is chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.
“Besides that, I will chair a meeting with relevant stakeholders to explain this issue (amendment of Schedule 7) and clarify certain allegations. I will also discuss other issues related to private health care services. The date of the meeting will be announced in due time,” said Dzulkefly.
CodeBlue reported last week that the Cabinet in the new Pakatan Harapan government had decided on April 24 not to raise private GPs’ consultation fees that have remained stagnant for 27 years since 1992, purportedly because of the country’s “economic situation”.
Several doctors’ groups like the Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) and the Federation of Private Medical Practitioners’ Associations Malaysia (FPMPAM) have criticised the Cabinet decision, pointing out that the then-Barisan Nasional administration had approved back in 2013 the revision of GP fees.