KUCHING: Sarawak DAP Youth secretary Dr Kelvin Yii says the Ministry of Health should review the proposed revision of general practitioners’ fees.
Any changes should be done fairly not just for the interest of the industry, but also the interest of the people, said the Bandar Kuching MP.
“While I understand the need of a revision since the last one was done in 2006, the revision must be done based on the current needs and also the people’s situation.
“I am not privy to the points during the discussion, but I believe a few matters would have been considered, especially the possibility of the increase of healthcare cost, especially minor cases, and the possibility this might cause more people to go to government clinics and contribute to the congestion.
“I also understand the need to strengthen the Primary Care, especially the need to ‘decentralise’ from tertiary hospitals to the different clinics that are located in the different community areas.
“I understand the reason for these private doctors to be ‘incentivise’ to provide quality healthcare in these Primary Care facilities especially in areas that are heavily populated,” he said.
While this revision would only affect private clinics, the ruling government is still concerned about the poor, and is therefore in the process of implementing health insurance scheme for the B40 (bottom income) group to enable them to see doctors at government or private clinics, Dr Yii added,
“There will be no salary reduction contrary to rumours that there will be. However, I urge the Ministry of Health to properly review this policy, and most importantly, the calculation of the fees should be transparent and reasonable, and not to burden the general public.”
A proper guiding formula should be put in place to reduce chances of abuse in the calculations of fees, he said, adding that patient care should be optimised to ensure professionalism and high-quality healthcare is offered to the public.
“From my understanding, the proposed revision will only be submitted to MoH soon, and thus I again urge for a proper review of the matter and not to rush things.”
Dr Yii said he would raise this matter during the parliamentary sitting to get further clarification on the matter, and also to urge for greater transparency.