27 July 2007

Two govt hospitals to adopt 'Full Paying Patient' concept

The Star

MUAR: Two government hospitals in the country will adopt the 'Full Paying Patient' concept to curb medical specialists from the government hospitals from joining the private sector.

Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek said the hospitals - the Selayang and the Putrajaya Hospitals - would begin accepting those who opted for the concept on Aug 1.

Speaking to reporters here he said the move was also aimed at getting back those specialists who had left government hospitals to serve in the private sector.

“We are losing about 50% or about 100 of our specialist doctors every year who resign to join the private hospitals.

“We hope this approach will enable the hospitals to allocate some additional incentives for the specialist doctors,” he said after visiting drainage and road projects in Bentayan on Thursday.

Dr Chua said the ministry picked the two hospitals as they were excellent medical centres in treating liver related illness, hand surgery, breast cancer, endocrine diseases and some other illness.

He said many who could afford sought treatment at these hospitals, but without the full paying patient concept, they only paid the minimal rate and enjoyed the subsidised treatment.

He said it was unfair as the government subsidy was meant for those Malaysians who could not afford to pay the full payment for the treatment of such illnesses.

He said they would be placed in the First Class wards and allowed to choose the specialist doctors, but added the supporting staff would be similar to those attending to the other patients.

He said the cost would be similar to those charged by the private hospitals and followed the schedules outlined by the Malaysian Medical Association, but with some discount.

He said this meant the treatment cost at the two hospitals would still be cheaper than those charged by the private hospitals, adding that, the concept would be extended to hospitals in the states if it was well received.

Dr Chua said some guidelines would be outlined to ensure the two hospitals did not give priority only to those who opted to pay the full payment and that the specialists also did not abuse the concept.

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