Separate public health services from private business

The Consumers Association of Penang (CAP) views with concern the plans of the Sabah government to push ahead with the building of a private hospital. Chief Minister Datuk Musa Aman is quoted in the press saying that, “although it is a private hospital, we do not have to think of how to profit first”.

By right, there should be a very clear separation between the public and private sector when it comes to healthcare. This is because the government is responsible for regulating the private healthcare sector and carrying out enforcement duties.

A government cannot be involved in such private business development as there is bound to be a conflict of interest sooner or later.

CAP calls on the Ministry of Health to initiate measures to create additional public healthcare facilities to serve the needs of the people in Sabah instead. There must be a clear separation between the people responsible for regulation or enforcement and those involved in private business development.

Letter to the Editor, 16 July 2009