Consultation fees of private clinics may increase by year-end, as the government is mulling an increase in general practitioners’ (GPs) fees.
Health Minister Datuk Seri Dzulkefly Ahmad said his ministry will present the proposed fee hike to the National Cost of Living Action Council (NACCOL) during its upcoming meeting, the date of which has yet to be determined.
Addressing the grouses of GPs that the consultation fees has not been increased in the past 27 years, Dzulkefly said the Cabinet had not dismissed the proposal to hike the fee but had suggested that the matter be presented to the action council beforehand.
“The Cabinet has decided that the matter has to go through the action council, which meets three times a year. They had not rejected it,” he told reporters at a press conference here, referring to the Cabinet.
“It is a matter of time when this can be endorsed and tabled in the Cabinet.”
The current GP fees are set at a minimum RM10 to RM35 under the 7th Schedule of the Private Healthcare Facilities and Services (Private Medical Clinics and Private Dental Clinics) Regulations 2006.
Dzulkefly said doctors have called for the fee to be increased and harmonised with the figure charged by private hospitals since 2013, which is between RM30 and RM125.
“This is their right as it has been outstanding for 27 years. This is not about increasing it but about harmonising it. The GPs in private hospitals have been given the increase in 2013, so there is no issue of pressure.
“We are still discussing the actual impact, especially on the B40 group but we are looking at anything higher than the current fee,” he said, adding that the review on the proposed fee has to be presented to the action council due to the current economic status of the country.
Earlier, Dzulkefly had held a town hall session with the private clinic practitioners, who had addressed several issues concerning the private clinic sector, including regulating third party health managers Managed Care Organisations (MCO) and Third Party Administrators (TPA).
Over 800 GPs had participated in the session, including Bagan Serai MP Datuk Dr Noor Azmi Ghazali, who was a medical practitioner by profession before venturing into politics.