The Consumers Association of Penang urges the Ministry of Health in exercising caution in raising medical fees. Consumers are being burdened by overall cost of living and any drastic increase in medical fees will deter consumers from seeking medical treatment which may then lead to more severe health consequences.
Any increase in consultation fees should not be higher than the rate of inflation. It should be noted that medical inflation in Malaysia is one of the highest in the region. A report in the Edge Financial Daily in August 2017 reported that Malaysia’s healthcare inflation was 11.5% in 2016 and rose to 12.7% in 2017. This is higher than the Asian average of 10.7%.
It should also be mandatory for doctors to provide itemized billing that separates consultation fee and medicines cost. There should not be any mark up on the price of medicines since doctors fee comes from consultation. Consumers have a right to know how much they are paying for consultation and medicines, so they can exercise their choice of getting medication from the pharmacist.
Press Statement, 28 August 2018