Materia Medica Malaysiana

November 19, 2007

Minister: Show plans benefit patients

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 1:29 pm

NST: KUALA LUMPUR: Companies offering health packages have been asked to convince the health ministry that they were not just out to make profits.
Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek wants managed care organisations (MCO) to show proof that those who signed up for their packages had gained from them.
“The health packages must be fair and beneficial to patients when they seek treatment at designated hospitals. Patients should not be shortchanged,” he told the New Straits Times.
He said people signed up for packages because of the escalating health cost. They also wanted doctors to do the necessary tests and treatment.
“Of late, the ministry has been receiving a lot of complaints about how patients with health packages have been shortchanged by the MCO. Doctors, too, have complained that their fees have been reduced and a limit had been imposed on clinical examinations,” he said.
MCO is a commercial body that enters into a contract with healthcare providers to provide programmes or packages within an agreed monetary arrangement.
Examples of MCO are health insurance companies, third party administrators, health maintenance organisations, preferred providers organisations, and the panel doctors system.
Dr Chua said MCO had been operating in health-related business in the country since the mid-90s and there had been several issues raised about their operation.
Among them is the disclosure of patient information and the practice of capping chargeable fees and limiting tests and procedures.
MCO are required to register with the ministry. They can register online at

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