Materia Medica Malaysiana

September 19, 2007

It only costs RM7 for lab test, claims doctor

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 10:22 am

NST: KUALA LUMPUR: The laboratory tests for the eKesihatan screening cost less than RM7, and not between RM25 and RM35 as claimed earlier by the company appointed as the gateway provider.
Koperasi Doktor Malaysia Bhd chairman Dr J.S. Deo disputed the higher figure quoted by Supremme Systems Sdn Bhd executive director Datuk Nordin Yahaya at a press conference recently.
Dr Deo claimed that the tests, to detect the presence of morphine, marijuana, amphetamines, methamphetamine and phencycledine, could be performed by a laboratory for a fee of RM5.90.
“This is the quote for a minimum order of 1,000 units. With larger volumes, the company can get a better price.”
Two other tests, Dr Deo said, would cost an additional RM1, bringing the total to RM6.90 per screening.
“Assuming that it (the company) paid the lab RM10 and doctors RM40, they would still enjoy a profit of RM30.”
On Monday, Nordin had denied trying to milk the Road Transport Department scheme and had provided a cost breakdown of the test.
He had said that the RM80 fee imposed on drivers under the scheme was justified because doctors would be paid between RM35 and RM45, while laboratories would receive between RM25 and RM35 for the tests.
He also claimed that the company would only make a profit of between RM8 and RM10 per screening and this would cover the cost of monitoring and maintenance of the database server and infrastructure.
“The appointment of Supremme Systems as the gateway provider raises a lot of questions on the transparency of the selection process because Nordin is a former RTD officer,” Dr Deo said.
Under the new scheme, holders of public service vehicle licences, goods vehicle driving licences and conductor licences would have to undergo a mandatory health check by a panel of doctors appointed by Supremme Systems and endorsed by the RTD.
The scheme was introduced following fatal bus crashes which were blamed on the drivers.
At least one million taxi, bus and express bus drivers nationwide would be affected by the scheme, which is scheduled to be implemented on Oct 1.

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