PUTRAJAYA: The consultation fees of medical practitioners at private clinics and hospitals may go up by between RM30 and RM125.
Health deputy director-general Datuk Dr Azman Abu Bakar said the current consultation fees of between RM10 and RM35 had not been revised for nearly 12 years.
He said the proposal to review the rate was supported by medical practitioners and consumer organisations.
“The Health Ministry today held a townhall session to get more views on doctor’s consultation fees,” he said.
“The rates have not been revised since 2006. We have received many views to review the rates.
“The proposal will be tabled before the health minister for further decision, before it can be sent to the Attorney-General’s Chamber to be fine-tuned, should it be allowed.
“This matter will also be brought before the Cabinet,” he said, adding that he expected the matter to progress fast without major hiccups.
Dr Azman said before any decision could be made, the ministry must get the feedback and views of all quarters to ensure that the time was right to review the consultation fee and the revised rate would not be too high.
“Stakeholders and NGOs understand that the cost of living has increased between 2006 and 2018. They understand the need to raise the consultation fee.”
He added that the welfare of medical practitioners in the private sector should be upheld.
It is learnt that private doctors’ consultation fees in Malaysia are among the cheapest in the Asean region. It is about RM80 in Vietnam, RM100 in Indonesia and RM120 in Singapore.
Malaysian Muslim Consumers Association activist Datuk Nadzim Johan said it was timely to review the consultation fees in view of the high cost of living.
“We should be fair because doctors are also working people and need an income. It is something that should be supported.”
Present were representatives of the Malaysian Medical Association and Federation of Malaysian Consumers Associations. © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd