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Public hospital charge hike is apt - Dr Subramaniam

Public hospital charge hike is apt - Dr Subramaniam
Dr Subramaniam: The Ministrys sole responsibility is to ensure that the lower income group who opt for public services are ensured of their welfare. - Filepic
KUALA LUMPUR: The Health Ministry today confirmed there would be a rise in medical charges at government hospitals as reported in a local daily on Monday.

Its minister Datuk Seri Dr S.Subramaniam said the fees will take effect early next year, although the revised rates have yet to be determined.

Dr Subramaniam stressed that the move is befitting as the costs of operations for hospitals have increased.

The last time the Ministry had increased the hospital charges was in 1982.
He said, the increase would only affect patients in the first and second class facilities.

“Although the increase is relatively minimal, there are still subsidies allocated for first and second class patients,” he said. 

Dr Subramaniam also said the Ministry’s sole responsibility is to ensure that the lower income group who opt for public services are ensured of their welfare.

“We won't digress from that principle,” he said at a Press conference after chairing the post-Cabinet meeting, here, today.

Dr Subramaniam was responding to a report published in a Bahasa Malaysia daily today alleging that the medical and ward charges in government hospitals would see a 50 per cent increase effective January 1, 2017.

Based on the report, a total of two million patients seek treatment at government hospitals. Out of this number, 32,000 are first and second class patients, who would also opt to be treated at private hospitals.

“That is why the charges are to be increased and subsidies trimmed. I hope the revenue can be used to obtain additional medicine for third class patients,” he added.

At present, an approximately 75 per cent of Malaysians seek treatment from government hospitals, while 25 per cent of the population opt for private practice.