KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 6 — Doctors’ groups proposed increasing clinic general practitioners’ (GPs) consultation fees to RM30 to RM125, after the government decided to deregulate private medical practitioners’ professional charges.
Medical Practitioners Coalition Association of Malaysia (MPCAM) president Dr Raj Kumar Maharajah said the proposed rates were equal to the fees currently earned by hospital-based GPs, which have long been demanded by shoplot family doctors whose consultation fees remained at RM10 to RM35 since 1992.
The new rates will be differentiated between simple, intermediate, and complex consultations.
“MPCAM will be meeting MMA (Malaysian Medical Association) to discuss the consultation fee schedule. A draft is already ready,” Dr Raj Kumar told CodeBlue.
“We just need to tie up loose ends, taking into consideration clinics in urban, semi-urban and rural areas and the socio-economic strength of the rakyat in these areas. We will be fair to all, keeping strictly to our Hippocratic Oath and the fact that the profession is a rakyat-centric one.”
Health Minister Dzulkefly Ahmad announced earlier today Cabinet’s decision to allow GPs, dentists, and specialists in private clinics and hospitals to set their own consultation fees.
The landmark decision to deregulate private medical practitioners’ consultation fees came 13 years after they were legislated in 2006 under fee schedules in Schedule 7 (for private medical and dental clinics) and Schedule 13 (for private hospitals) of the Private Healthcare Facilities and Services Act (PHFSA) 1998.
“MPCAM welcomes the deregulation. We thank the Health Minister and the Cabinet for allowing the profession to regulate its own fees, just like other professionals in the country,” said Dr Raj Kumar.
“With this deregulation, the profession has now become the authority. What we need to do is to make the consult fee official and publish it everywhere and negotiate that fee with the third-party administrators (TPA) or managed care organisations (MCO),” he added, referring to organisations that manage companies’ health care plans.
“Cash patients and other individual company panels must abide by the fee schedule as far as possible.”
MMA has warned physicians against undercutting their professional charges after deregulation.