Materia Medica Malaysiana

April 29, 2007

Hospitals need to itemise bills

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 10:14 am

Star: PENANG: Private hospitals are now required to itemise bills for patients and set up an inquiry committee whenever a complaint is lodged against them or the hospital staff.
Health Minister Datuk Dr Chua Soi Lek said these requirements are stipulated in the Private Healthcare Facilities and Services Act 1998, which his ministry was now enforcing.
He said private hospitals are also required to give emergency treatment to anyone who seeks it, adding that they should not turn away critical patients.
He added that the Act gives patients the right to question and complain.
“They have the right to know the details of treatment accorded to them.
“All information pertaining to patients must also be kept confidential under the Act,” Dr Chua told reporters after meeting representatives of 25 private hospitals in Penang here yesterday.
Regarding the inquiry committee, he said it should provide answers within two weeks of receiving the patients’ complaints.
“If the committee fails to do so, the patient can appeal to the Health Ministry director-general,” he added.
Dr Chua said the ministry had received 47 complaints against private hospitals, mostly about exorbitant charges, unsatisfactory treatment and being treated by doctors who were not trained in the relevant field.
On “health tourism,” the minister said that of the 31 private hospitals that serve foreigners, seven are in Penang.
He added, however, that the Penang private hospitals were collecting almost half of the country’s health tourism revenue.

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