KUALA LUMPUR: The Health Ministry will discuss with the relevant quarters to address the problem of high medical charges on patients using insurance cards at private medical centres, the Dewan Rakyat was told today.
Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S.Subramaniam (pix) said the relevant parties included insurance agents, private hospitals, managed care organisations and Bank Negara. He said patients should not be charged excessively as the government had set the maximum limit for professional fees, which covered for consultancy and procedures, for private medical practitioners.
"This rate has been agreed by all quarters, namely hospitals, patients and the insurance companies in line with Schedule 13 of the Private Healthcare Facilities and Services Regulation 2006," he added.
He said this in response to a question by Che Mohamad Zulkifly Jusoh (BN-Setiu) who wanted to know the high fees charge on patients using insurance cards at private hospitals and clinics compared with those who paid in cash.
Dr Subramaniam however said that the people should be aware of other charges and fees, like for accommodation, nursing procedures, equipment, laboratory tests and medicines, which were not regulated by the ministry.
He said it was the marketing power which determined the actual cost imposed on patients by medical practitioners. Therefore, he advised patients and their family members to make the necessary considerations before seeking treatment at private hospitals.
As such, he hoped a health consumer group could be set up to give view, as well as become the catalyst to monitor excessive charges by private hospitals and clinics.