KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 22 — Patients who cannot afford the charges and services under the Full Paying Patient (FPP) scheme will still get treatment in government hospitals, said Deputy Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Hilmi Yahaya.
“The ministry will ensure that specialists in government hospitals treat patients who cannot pay before treating patients who opt for the scheme.
“Therefore, there is no case of neglect of patients who cannot afford to make the payment because the doctor must give priority to their core duty,” he told reporters at the Parliament lobby here yesterday.
He was responding to allegations of possible neglect of patients in government hospitals who could not afford the scheme, which is to be implemented in eight more government hospitals in January.
Currently, this scheme is available at the Selayang Hospital and Putrajaya Hospital and it would be expanded to general hospitals in Kota Bharu, Kuala Terengganu, Kuantan, Temerloh, Ipoh, Kuala Lumpur, Klang and Seremban.
Hilmi also gave the assurance that the quality of health care for patients at government hospitals would not be affected by the implementation of the scheme.
Through the scheme, specialists in government hospitals have certain control on the number of paying patients but it should not exceed half of those who could not afford to pay, he said.
According to him, it was hoped that the implementation of the scheme would prevent the migration of doctors from government hospitals to private hospitals that offered better salaries.
“With this scheme, we provide opportunities for specialists at government hospitals to earn additional income to match the salary in private hospitals.
It is also to address the issue of resignation of specialists in government hospitals as annually nearly 150 specialists resign while only 400 new doctors enter the service,” he added.
The FPP was introduced in 2007 and from the money collected from each surgery or medical process, 40 per cent goes to the hospital and the remainder to the specialist. However, the FPP only caters to 30 per cent of the total patients in hospitals and the price is half of that at private hospitals. — Bernama