‘Competition commission must ensure doctors do not agree to manipulate consultation fees’

09 Dec 2019 / 11:30 H.

PETALING JAYA: There are concerns that doctors could act as a cartel and fix a high consultation fee among themselves after the Cabinet decided not to control how much private medical practitioners charged their patients.

The Federation of Malaysian Consumers Association (Fomca) said the Malaysia Competition Commission must ensure doctors don’t agree on a fixed consultation fee.

“Any arrangement to manipulate the consultation fees by private doctors is going to be a problem that would jeopardise consumers’ well-being,“ Fomca CEO Datuk Paul Selvaraj told theSun yesterday.

He said doctors also needed to give detailed billings although many did not practise giving a breakdown on their receipts.

Transparency International-Malaysia (TI-M) president Dr Muhammad Mohan shared the same concern and said unregulated fees would be unfair to the B40 group.

“If a cartel is formed, then the lower income group may not be able to afford to pay for it.”

“You can’t expect everybody in B40 to go to government hospitals. There are cases when there is an emergency and they may go to private clinics (near them). It will become a problem if the consultation fees spiked.”

He explained that most people would not easily switch doctors when they are comfortable with their regular doctors.

“It’s not like going grocery shopping and making comparisons to see the price differences.”

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