Govt removes cap on GP fees, Najib flays Pakatan

Govt removes cap on GP fees, Najib flays Pakatan

PUCHONG: In an unexpected move, the government decided to abolish the cap on consultation fees imposed by medical general practitioners and dentists.

In a statement, Health Minister Datuk Seri Dzulkefly Ahmad said the Cabinet made the decision to allow let the public decide on who is charging appropriate fees.

“Patients can evaluate and decide on their own if the fees are appropriate.

“We decided to abolish this price cap to help the public make better choices,” he said.

Since Pakatan Harapan took over the federal government, general practitioners and dentists have pushed the establishment to review the consultation rates, which has not been reviewed since 2006.

They claimed that their overheads have increased and doctors are having a hard time making ends meet.

Some even threatened to withdraw support from the ruling coalition if their pleas went unanswered.

Defending the latest move, Dzulkefly said that once the policy is implemented, doctors are required to inform their patients on their consultation fees before treating them.

“The Health Ministry will take appropriate measures to realise this decision. We will hold briefings on this matter with interested parties,” he said.

Complaints against fees and services can be addressed to the Private Medical Practice Control Section through the email.

Meanwhile, former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak hurled brickbats on the government’s move, saying it would only create more problems for the people who are already struggling to make ends meet.

“Now private medical practitioners can raise their fees to their fancy. And Pakatan can proudly say it will empower the people to make better choices,” he said.

However, the Pekan MP urged private doctors and dentists not to overcharge their patients due to rising cost of living.

“Please charge reasonably. The economy is not getting better and the cost of living is expected to rise again next year with the review on fuel prices, increase in water and postal tariffs and the upcoming digital tax at six percent,” said Najib.

By G Vinod