Call to increase funds for healthcare

Published: 8 October 2014

 

PETALING JAYA: The Federation of Private Medical Practitioners Association has called on the government to increase the healthcare allocation in Budget 2015 to reflect between 6% and 7% of gross domestic product.

Its president, Dr Steven K. W. Chow (pix) said there is a need to strengthen the primary care system by increasing the level of private-public integration.

This can be done by outsourcing care of out-patients with chronic illness from outpatient clinics in public hospitals to private primary care clinics (in the same vicinity) for follow-up treatment.

"All private primary care, general practitioners and family practitioner clinics should be invited to take part in this programme," he said.

If the waiting list in public hospitals is too long, patients requiring surgery and procedures should be referred to local private healthcare facilities instead of being sent overseas, he added.

"This will allow a shorter waiting time for public out-patient clinics," said Chow, adding that referring patients to local private facilities will save time and costs and strengthen local expertise.

He also called for healthcare services to be GST-exempt, as healthcare is a right of the rakyat and urged the government not to privatise public hospitals and public healthcare clinics, especially with the current escalating cost of living.

He said there should be a schedule for hospital fees as the escalating charges are a major cause of increasing healthcare expenditure. Currently, there no laws to regulate hospital and commercialised healthcare services fees.

Chow also called for enforcement of the Pathology Laboratory Act to curb unnecessary blood tests, health screening and random "wellness" checks by business-driven private laboratories and businesses.

He added that the Medical Devices Act 2012 also needs to be enforced so that only properly trained medical practitioners are allowed to handle the relevant equipment.

 

Originally published in thesundaily.my
http://www.thesundaily.my/news/1192839

 

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