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Regulating private healthcare is long overdue
BY: CHRISTOPHER FERNANDEZ
While everyone goes into business with the bottomline in mind, that is, to make profits, there is a need for caution and not to profiteer. By all means make a profit but don’t engage in profiteering and this call should also be heeded by private hospitals and medical centers.
In this New Millennium private hospitals have mushroomed to cater to the growing affluence of Malaysians in keeping with a vibrant and dynamic economy. But not anymore as the Covid-19 pandemic rages in full swing.
With Covid-19 dousing the enthusiasm of the economy, Malaysians who previously could afford private healthcare are opting for medical help from public hospitals which are now overcrowded and bursting at the seams.
Unless they have medical insurance or are extraordinarily rich, most Malaysians now opt to attend to their health by further taxing the overburdened public hospitals and this is why private hospitals need to be regulated.
There must be mechanisms put in place to ensure that there are limits and margins within which a private clinic or hospital can charge. This is to ensure fairness and equity, as right now these private entities appear to charge patients according to their whims and fancies.
While in the past there were not many complaints of the astronomical fees charged by private clinics and hospitals, now there are a growing number of complaints in view of the Covid-19 pandemic.
There’s a cloud in every silver lining. Now is the time, with pressure mounting by Malaysians, for private clinics and hospitals to toe the line and for the government to regulate the private healthcare sector before things veer completely out of control.
-THE MALAYSIA VOICE
** The views expressed on this opinion is of the writer and not the publisher