Materia Medica Malaysiana

September 22, 2007

New twist in eKesihatan saga

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 8:41 am

NST: KUALA LUMPUR: There is more to the eKesihatan saga than meets the eye.
A company that bid for the project in February last year was rejected with the excuse that the project had already been awarded.
But Supremme Systems Sdn Bhd, whose director is a former Road Transport Department (RTD) director, only signed the contract this month, 20 months after the bid by the Primary Care Doctors’ Organisation Malaysia.
The letter that PCDOM submitted to the then RTD director-general Datuk Emran Kadir on Feb 24 last year contained a detailed outline of the suggested PrimaCare system.
The system is an award-winning electronic medical record and clinic management software that can be used under the eKesihatan programme.
PCDOM conducted a presentation for the RTD a month later but did not hear from them again.
A follow-up letter to the Transport Ministry on March 10 this year saw a reply a month later where they were told that another company had been chosen.
PCDOM president Dr Molly Cheah Bee Li said her organisation had not only created a computer-based version of the RTD health form, but had also come up with a new form based on a similar model used in the United Kingdom.
“All this was provided free of charge for RTD use,” she said, adding that the system would have been made available to all clinics free of charge as there were no licensing fees.
“The only cost would have been the cost of deployment, training, support and maintenance, which the doctors themselves would be reponsible for.
“Patients would have only had to pay RM5, for gateway charges and processing fees, on top of whatever medical fee the clinic charged.
“They just ignored us after the presentation. When we wrote a follow-up letter a year later, we received a reply telling us that the contract had been given to somebody else even before we had made our presentation,” she said.
When contacted, RTD director-general Datuk Ahmad Mustapha Abdul Rashid said the process of selecting a company to run the eKesihatan project had been ongoing since the late 1990s.
“The decision to award it to Supremme Systems was made earlier this year,” he said.
He was at a loss to explain why PCDOM had been brushed off with such a lame excuse.
“I don’t know about it. I’m new,” he said. He also refused to clarify the basis on which PCDOM’s proposal was rejected.
“I don’t want to answer that,” he said.
It is believed that another proposal, submitted by Koperasi Doktor Malaysia (KDM), was also rejected by RTD.
When contacted, Supremme Systems executive director Datuk Nordin Yahaya said his company only signed the contract with the RTD on Sept 3 this year.
Nordin said another Supremme Systems director, Datuk Kamaluddin Yusoff, was Federal Territory RTD director in the 1980s.
He said that if government clinics were to register under Supremme Systems, those who underwent the checks would only have to pay RM13 instead of the RM80 charged by private clinics.
He also said that an earlier report claiming Supremme Systems would make a profit of some RM400 million was not true.
“This is a gross misrepresentation. We would only retain an average of RM10 out of the fees of RM80. This RM10 is our gross income and not gross profit.
“Gross profit is income less expenses. Assuming there are 500,000 drivers, our annual income will be more like RM5 million and not RM400 million as alleged by certain quarters.”

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