The amended Medical Fee Schedule 2013
It has been 12 long years, and the last Fee schedule in force (the MMA 4th schedule) was in 2002, and this was incorporated into the Private Healthcare and Facilities Act 2006, 13th Schedule.
The medical fee schedule spells out the maximum allowable fees charged by the medical profession for consultations and procedures. It is very different from other professional fee schedules like the lawyers which spells out the minimum fees to be charged (obviously the lawyers are cleverer than doctors in this respect)
Nevertheless, the reality is that market forces has it such that GPs in particular hardly charge their consultation fees and compensate this with medicines sold at the clinic. When it comes to separation of dispensing (which may eventually come to being in Malaysia), things will change as GPs may have no choice but to charge their consultation fees and patients collect medicines from pharmacies.
At a time when everything is going up (tolls, food, fuel etc) this would seem like a bad time and one can understand the outcry as reported in Malaysiakini : Higher medical bills after hush-hush hike by gov’t. Actually there was nothing hush-hush as the amendments have been on the table for more than 5 years, and one can understand 12 years is a long time for any fee increase.
Before anyone goes doctor bashing, do note
1) The bulk of medical fees for hospitalisation comprise hospital charges which remain unregulated to date.
2) The amendment to the fee schedule only affects doctors whose fees remain regulated by law.
3) The public must take note that they should have healthcare insurance which is unfortunately still not compulsory in this country. This is imperative as it is silly to have to pay out of your pocket when illness strikes.
For those interested you can view the Amendments to the Fee Schedule here:
For Malaysian doctors, this issue has been highlighted in this thread in Dobbs General forum. Malaysian doctors who are not yet members of the Dobbs forum are cordially invited to do so – membership is free and you just have to submit the registration form online.