Materia Medica Malaysiana

June 10, 2008

Government hospitals to ‘fuel’ effect, too

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 11:59 am

Star: PUTRAJAYA: Public hospitals are being prepared to expect a higher volume of patients seeking their services, with the recent hike in the price of fuel.
Health Minister Datuk Liow Tiong Lai said the ministry had already taken a few steps, like recruiting more doctors and nurses, as well as upgrading hospital facilities.
“We have already decided to extend our services to after office hours and on Saturdays. If need be, we may even open our clinics on Sundays because there are too many patients.
“We are also trying to attract Malaysian doctors working overseas to return and finding ways to engage private doctors in public hospitals.
“At present, most private doctors with us are only offering outpatient treatment and there are very few specialists. I think our terms are not attractive enough so we’ll have to look into our conditions again,” he told reporters after launching the breast cancer pathology update at Putrajaya Hospital yesterday.
Liow said many private doctors had indicated to him their interest in working at public hospitals due to the more challenging nature of the cases.
Asked if he expected public hospitals to come under strain from the increase in patients, Liow said many district hospitals were already facing difficulties.
“I know of certain hospitals that have only five or seven doctors working,” he said, adding that the government service lost some 300 doctors and 50 specialists each year.
Public hospitals are 98% subsidised by the Government.
Liow also said that the National Healthcare Financing Scheme would not be implemented anytime soon, as a report on its economic viability would not be ready by the yearend.

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