Fomca welcomes review of private doctors' fees

Kalbana Perimbanayagam

KUALA LUMPUR: The Federation of Malaysian Consumers Association (Fomca) says it is timely to review the consultation fees of private medical practitioners but warns against raising it too much.

Fomca deputy president Mohd Yusof Abdul Rahman said he welcomed it because doctors were only charging RM10 to RM35, which was low.

But, he said the cost of medication was too high and should be reviewed.

”These days, medicines alone can come up to more than RM100, depending on whether its generic or branded.

He said a 30 to 50 per cent hike in consultation fees was reasonable, but anything more would burn a hole in patients’ pockets.

He added that this could not be applied to all private clinics, as rural folk would not be able to afford it.

”The fees should be in line with the demographics, location and the services/facilities available at a particular clinic.

“This is a major concern among many because medical treatment these days are becoming unaffordable for the lower income groups and people in the rural areas. “Fomca hopes that the fee range is made affordable for all,” he said adding that doctors should consider making exception for those who could not afford to pay.

”This proposal must be studied carefully and only implemented because we do not want patients who cannot afford the fees to resort to other methods, such a traditional or home remedies. Or even worst not seek medical help at all.”

He said even in urban areas consultation fees of more than RM80 or RM100 would be a burden for patients. © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd