KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) has expressed dissatisfaction over Health Ministry's 14 per cent proposed rise in private doctor fees as it falls below their valuation of what is due to the medical practitioners.
"We have our own valuation and I believe we want something in the region of 25 per cent. The amount (14 per cent) is still much on the lower side," its president, Dr S.R. Manalan, told The Malay Mail yesterday.
He was responding to Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai's statement earlier yesterday that the revised doctor fees were now pending cabinet approval.
Dr Manalan said in the current healthcare climate, most of the money was being made by third parties and middle men.
"We agree with the minister (Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai), who said hospital fees are the concern of the people and should be regulated, not doctor fees."
He said the fee schedule that regulated how much doctors charged their patients was based on an old schedule formulated in 2002.
"It would appear that the doctors have been singled out for this discriminatory practice (of regulating fees).
"The MMA has always encouraged medical practitioners to determine their fees based on their own practice costs and the ability of patients to pay."
A rise in doctor fees was suggested with the 5th Edition of the MMA Fee Schedule in 2008, which would have seen an increase between 15 and 25 per cent, but it was never implemented due to the financial crisis that was then crippling Asian economies.