KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 13 – The Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) suggested today that the outpatient fee in public clinics or hospitals be doubled to RM2 to help fund higher salaries for contract junior doctors.
Ministry of Health (MOH) facilities only charge RM1 and RM5 for outpatient and specialist treatment respectively, which covers registration, consultation, medical tests like X-rays or urine tests, and medicines.
“For outpatient services, the current fee in government hospital is RM1. Increasing that to even RM2 will be a big help to the doctors,” Dr Kevin Ng, the working committee chairman of MMA’s Section Concerning House Officers, Medical Officers and Specialists (SCHOMOS), said in a press conference today.
Dr N. Ganabaskaran, president of doctors’ group MMA, said: “Service of the doctors should be valued.”
The press meet also saw other suggestions from stakeholders.One such suggestion was to limit the number of medical graduates.
“Control the number of doctors produced so that it matched the number that is required. The current batch of doctors waiting for position needs justice and proper career plan,” said Dr Ng, who added that the minimum requirement of entry to these courses should be increased.
MMA also suggested increasing the number of medical officer (MO) positions, as floating MOs — those awaiting placement in MOH facilities — are now taking up the positions that should be available for housemen.
“MMA has previously suggested entry level assessment and common licensing exam for graduates,” stated Dr Ng.
Last Friday, Health Minister Dzulkefly Ahmad repeated his previous statements in Parliament that MOH could no longer guarantee permanent employment to MOs, who may be reappointed on contract to serve the government for a mandatory two years instead. These junior doctors were told that after their compulsory service with MOH, they could seek jobs in public university hospitals or in the private sector.
MOH also confirmed last week that all contract MOs would continue their two-year mandatory service on housemen’s UD41 civil service grade, instead of being promoted like their permanent counterparts to UD44 with a higher salary scale.