Private Hospitals should not charge its patients for what others do not

When a person walks into a restaurant or a shopping mall, a person-in-charge will scan the persons body temperature and, in most places, provide hand sanitizer as well. This is besides the person having to scan MySejahteras  Quick Response (QR) code or register himself in the logbook provided.

It is part of the Covid-19 pandemic standard operating procedure (SOP) and there is no two ways about it.

However, it was brought to the Consumers Association of Penang (CAP)s attention that some hospitals are charging their patients a fee of RM5 for carrying out the SOP and we wondered why this is so.

This appeared that only patients are charged because there is a bill to include the cost. We urge the hospitals to consider the provision of such services  body temperature scanning and provision of hand sanitisers  be part of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) although it is an enforced SOP everywhere, not just hospitals and clinics.

If it is argued that it is an additional cost, this would also be the same argument in all industries but yet they are able to abide by the SOP and the need with a touch of generosity in times like this.

We urge all hospitals and clinics that charge a fee for carrying out SOP to desist from doing so. The reason is that, even if there isnt a need to fulfil the SOP, will the hospital or clinic risk allowing a Covid-19 patient walk into its premises?

Press Statement, 17 September 2020