Ministry to table bill on private aged healthcare

PUTRAJAYA: The Health Ministry is set to table a new bill in Parliament on private aged healthcare facilities and services.

Its minister, Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam (pix), told reporters that the purpose of the bill is to enable the ministry to better regulate and monitor aged healthcare centres in the country.

"Currently, most of the care centres nationwide are either registered under the Community Welfare Department's Care Centres Act 1993 or the Health Ministry's Private Healthcare Facilities and Services Act 1998.

"However, there are more than hundreds of these centres that are not registered under the two Acts mentioned.

"Therefore, to allow for better monitoring of these care centres and to ensure the healthcare facilities and service is affordable to all senior citizens, the ministry has drafted a Private Aged Healthcare
Facilities and Services bill which will be tabled in the next Parliament sitting," Subramaniam told a press conference at his ministry today.

He added that once the bill is passed and gazetted, it would allow the ministry to set the minimum standard for those employed as caretakers at these centres to ensure they are competent and operate under the same rules and regulations.

Subramaniam said the bill will also include the punishment that would be imposed on care centre operators who failed to operate according to the rules and regulations.

He expressed hopes that the bill could be passed in Parliament and be enforced earliest by this year or latest by next year to ensure optimum healthcare for senior citizens nationwide.